Special Report

The Richest County in Every State

Source: OlegAlbinsky / E+ via Getty Images

Massachusetts: Nantucket County
> Median household income: $107,717 (state: $81,215)
> Poverty rate: 8.7% (state: 10.3%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 6.6% (state: 6.2%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 52.8% (state: 43.7%)
> Largest place in county: Nantucket

Nantucket County, Massachusetts, coterminous with the island of Nantucket, located about 30 miles south of Cape Cod, is the wealthiest county in one of the wealthiest states. The typical Massachusetts household earns $81,215 a year, about $18,400 more than what the typical American household earns, and in Nantucket, the median household income of $107,717 is about $44,900 more than the national median.

Though it is the wealthiest county in one of the wealthiest states, Nantucket’s population is not all wealthy, and 8.7% of the local population live below the poverty line. Still, the local poverty rate is well below the 10.3% state poverty rate and 13.4% national rate.

Source: Dwight Burdette / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan: Livingston County
> Median household income: $84,221 (state: $57,144)
> Poverty rate: 5.2% (state: 14.4%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.9% (state: 6.3%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 35.4% (state: 29.1%)
> Largest place in county: Howell

The median annual household income in Michigan of $57,144 is about $5,700 less than the national median. In some parts of the state, however, incomes are far higher than the average state or nationwide. Livingston County, located just west of Detroit, has a median household income of $84,221, about $21,400 more than the national median.

Poverty is also far less common in Livingston County than it is much of the rest of the state — and country. Just 5.2% of the local population live below the poverty line, compared to 13.4% of Americans and 14.4% of Michigan residents.

Source: AlexiusHoratius / Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota: Scott County
> Median household income: $102,152 (state: $71,306)
> Poverty rate: 5.5% (state: 9.7%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.4% (state: 3.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 39.9% (state: 36.1%)
> Largest place in county: Shakopee

Scott County, located just south of Minneapolis, is the wealthiest county in Minnesota. The typical household in the county earns $102,152 a year, about $30,900 more than the median household income across the state of $71,306 and $39,300 more than the national median.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn, unemployment is relatively low in Scott County. Just 3.4% members of the local labor force are unemployed, compared to 3.9% of the labor force across Minnesota and the comparable national unemployment rate of 6.4%.

Source: Bill Herndon / Flickr

Mississippi: Madison County
> Median household income: $71,824 (state: $45,081)
> Poverty rate: 9.6% (state: 20.3%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.4% (state: 6.0%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 48.4% (state: 22.0%)
> Largest place in county: Madison

With a median annual household income of just $45,081, Mississippi is the poorest state in the country. Not all parts of Mississippi have similarly low incomes, however. In Madison County, located just north of the state capital of Jackson, the median household income is $71,824, about $9,000 more than the national median.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and in Madison County, 48.4% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, the largest share of any county in the state and more than double the 22.0% share of adults in Mississippi with a four-year college degree.

Source: Kbh3rd / Wikimedia Commons

Missouri: St. Charles County
> Median household income: $84,978 (state: $55,461)
> Poverty rate: 5.2% (state: 13.7%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.1% (state: 3.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 38.9% (state: 29.2%)
> Largest place in county: St. Charles

St. Charles County, located just northwest, and well within commuting distance of St. Louis, is the wealthiest county in Missouri. The median annual household income in the cunty is $84,978, about $29,500 more than the income the typical Missouri household earns.

Across St. Charles County, nearly 9% of households earn over $200,000 a year and only 5.2% of the population live below the poverty line, compared to 4.8% of households and 13.7% of the population in the state, respectively.

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