Special Report

These Are the Richest Counties in California

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No economy has generated as much wealth for as many people as that of the United States. According to the 2023 Global Wealth Report from the Swiss investment bank UBS, most adults worldwide have less than $10,000 in total wealth. Meanwhile, the typical American adult is worth nearly $108,000. The same report found that the U.S. is home to 38% of the world’s millionaires, many times more than any other country — and incomes in the U.S. are currently rising at a historic pace.

The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that the typical American household earned nearly $75,000 in 2022, up from about $69,700 in 2021. The 7.2% increase was the largest recorded year-over-year since at least the mid-1990s.

In California, a state home to 53 Fortune 500 companies, the typical household earns $91,905 annually. And in some parts of the state, household incomes exceed that amount by tens of thousands of dollars.

Using five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 18 richest counties in California. Counties in the state are ranked on median household income. Supplemental data on population, unemployment, and median home values are also five-year estimates from the 2022 ACS.

Among the counties on this list, median household incomes are anywhere from about $400 to $61,900 higher than what the typical California household earns. In many of these counties, high incomes are underpinned by a strong job market. According to the ACS, the five-year average jobless rate in each of California’s richest counties is below the 6.4% statewide average.

Home values are often a reflection of what residents can afford, and high incomes in these counties are often evidenced by the local real estate markets. In all but four counties on this list, the typical home is worth more than the $659,300 median home value across the state.

These are the richest counties in California.

18. Santa Barbara County

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  • Median household income: $92,332
  • Median home value: $714,800
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 6.0%
  • Population: 445,213

17. San Diego County

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images
  • Median household income: $96,974
  • Median home value: $725,200
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 6.0%
  • Population: 3,289,701

16. Solano County

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  • Median household income: $97,037
  • Median home value: $549,100
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 5.8%
  • Population: 450,995

15. El Dorado County

Source: alacatr / Getty Images
  • Median household income: $99,246
  • Median home value: $597,600
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 4.6%
  • Population: 191,713

14. Sonoma County

Source: dentok / Getty Images
  • Median household income: $99,266
  • Median home value: $748,500
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 5.2%
  • Population: 488,436

13. Alpine County

Source: Tomás Guardia Bencomo / iStock via Getty Images
  • Median household income: $101,125
  • Median home value: $463,900
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 4.9%
  • Population: 1,515

12. Ventura County

Source: kenlund / Flickr
  • Median household income: $102,141
  • Median home value: $719,100
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 5.3%
  • Population: 842,009

11. Santa Cruz County

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  • Median household income: $104,409
  • Median home value: $951,300
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 5.9%
  • Population: 268,571

10. San Benito County

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  • Median household income: $104,451
  • Median home value: $703,200
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 6.2%
  • Population: 64,753

9. Napa County

Source: StacieStauffSmith Photos / Shutterstock.com
  • Median household income: $105,809
  • Median home value: $794,500
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 5.2%
  • Population: 137,384

8. Orange County

Source: MattGush / iStock via Getty Images
  • Median household income: $109,361
  • Median home value: $862,900
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 5.4%
  • Population: 3,175,227

7. Placer County

Source: kenlund / Flickr
  • Median household income: $109,375
  • Median home value: $627,100
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 4.2%
  • Population: 406,608

6. Contra Costa County

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock via Getty Images
  • Median household income: $120,020
  • Median home value: $787,300
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 5.8%
  • Population: 1,162,648

5. Alameda County

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock via Getty Images
  • Median household income: $122,488
  • Median home value: $999,200
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 4.9%
  • Population: 1,663,823

4. San Francisco County

Source: bluejayphoto / iStock via Getty Images
  • Median household income: $136,689
  • Median home value: $1,348,700
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 5.4%
  • Population: 851,036

3. Marin County

Source: Aurore Kervoern / iStock via Getty Images
  • Median household income: $142,019
  • Median home value: $1,291,800
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 5.8%
  • Population: 260,485

2. San Mateo County

Source: SpVVK / iStock via Getty Images
  • Median household income: $149,907
  • Median home value: $1,441,300
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 4.5%
  • Population: 754,250

1. Santa Clara County

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Median household income: $153,792
  • Median home value: $1,316,800
  • 5-yr. avg. unemployment rate: 4.4%
  • Population: 1,916,831
Rank County Median household income ($) Median home value ($) Unemployment rate (%)
1 Santa Clara, California 153,792 1,316,800 4.4
2 San Mateo, California 149,907 1,441,300 4.5
3 Marin, California 142,019 1,291,800 5.8
4 San Francisco, California 136,689 1,348,700 5.4
5 Alameda, California 122,488 999,200 4.9
6 Contra Costa, California 120,020 787,300 5.8
7 Placer, California 109,375 627,100 4.2
8 Orange, California 109,361 862,900 5.4
9 Napa, California 105,809 794,500 5.2
10 San Benito, California 104,451 703,200 6.2
11 Santa Cruz, California 104,409 951,300 5.9
12 Ventura, California 102,141 719,100 5.3
13 Alpine, California 101,125 463,900 4.9
14 Sonoma, California 99,266 748,500 5.2
15 El Dorado, California 99,246 597,600 4.6
16 Solano, California 97,037 549,100 5.8
17 San Diego, California 96,974 725,200 6.0
18 Santa Barbara, California 92,332 714,800 6.0

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