Special Report

The Richest County in Every State

Source: segawa7 / Getty Images

Hawaii: Honolulu County
> Median household income: $85,857 (state: $81,275)
> Poverty rate: 8.3% (state: 9.4%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 8.8% (state: 10.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 35.0% (state: 33.0%)
> Largest place in county: Honolulu

With a median household income of $81,275, Hawaii is one of only four states where most households earn over $80,000 a year. In Honolulu County, the wealthiest county in the state, the median household income is $85,857, about $23,000 more than the national median.

Residents of Honolulu County, and other parts of Hawaii, are less likely to live below the poverty line than most Americans. Just 8.3% of Honolulu County residents and 9.4% of Hawaii residents live below the federal poverty threshold, compared to the 13.4% national poverty rate.

Source: John Stanton / Wikimedia Commons

Idaho: Teton County
> Median household income: $74,216 (state: $55,785)
> Poverty rate: 4.5% (state: 13.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.8% (state: 4.8%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 41.0% (state: 27.6%)
> Largest place in county: Victor

Teton County, located in southeastern Idaho along the Wyoming border, is by far the wealthiest county in the state. The typical household in Teton County earns $74,216 a year, about $8,000 more than the median income in Ada County, the second wealthiest county in the state and $18,400 more than the median annual household income of $55,758 across all of Idaho.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and Teton is also one of the best-educated counties in the state. An estimated 41.0% of area adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 27.6% of adults in Idaho.

Illinois: Kendall County
> Median household income: $96,563 (state: $65,886)
> Poverty rate: 4.5% (state: 12.5%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.3% (state: 6.5%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 36.2% (state: 34.7%)
> Largest place in county: Oswego

With a median annual household income of $96,563, Kendall County is the only county in Illinois where most households earn more than $95,000 a year. The poverty rate in Kendall County of 4.5% is just a fraction of the comparable 12.5% state poverty rate and 13.4% national rate.

Located in northeastern Illinois, within commuting distance of Chicago, Kendall County offers residents access to jobs in the largest city in the Midwest. Unemployment in the county stands at 5.3%, over a full percentage point below the statewide 6.5% unemployment rate.

Source: Jose A Perez / Getty Images

Indiana: Hamilton County
> Median household income: $98,173 (state: $56,303)
> Poverty rate: 4.6% (state: 13.4%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.3% (state: 4.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 59.3% (state: 26.5%)
> Largest place in county: Carmel

Hamilton County is located in central Indiana, just north of Indianapolis. By far the wealthiest county in the state, the median household income of $98,173 in Hamilton County is about $15,000 higher than the median income in Boone County, Indiana’s second wealthiest county, and $41,900 higher than the state median.

Many of the wealthiest counties nationwide are in close proximity to major cities, which serve as regional economic hubs. With access to jobs in Indianapolis, the unemployment rate in Hamilton County is just 3.3%, well below the comparable 4.9% state and 6.4% national jobless rates.

Source: Stephen Matthew Milligan / Wikimedia Commons

Iowa: Dallas County
> Median household income: $88,479 (state: $60,523)
> Poverty rate: 5.2% (state: 11.5%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 2.2% (state: 3.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 50.4% (state: 28.6%)
> Largest place in county: Waukee

Dallas County, Iowa, located just west of Des Moines, has a median annual household income of $88,479, making it far and away the wealthiest county in the state. In Warren County, Iowa’s second wealthiest county, the median household income is $77,048. Across the state, the median income of $60,523 is closely in line with the national median.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and Dallas County is one of the only counties in the state where over half of all adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

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