To be considered in a top 1% earner in the United States, the magic number that must be reached is $521,411 per household.
However, as VisualCapitalist's Jeff Desjardin explains, it turns out that on a county level, the income of the Top 1% varies wildly based on location.
For example, if you want to be in the “1% Club” in New York City, you’re going to have work extremely hard, get very lucky, or preferably, manage some incredible combination of those two things.
Meanwhile, if you want to be in the crème de la crème of the social scene in Jackson, Kentucky or Chattahoochee, Georgia, things might seem a little more realistic. In fact, if you’re doing well for yourself, you may even be able to do it based on your income today.
The above map by HowMuch.net, a cost information site, shows the average income of the top 1% by county.
Here’s the breakdown by county:
Richest Counties by Average Income of Top 1%
- Teton, Wyoming – Average Income: $28,163,786
- New York, New York – Average Income: $8,143,415
- Fairfield, Connecticut – Average Income: $6,061,230
- La Salle, Texas – Average Income: $6,021,357
- Pitkin, Colorado – Average Income: $5,289,153
- McKenzie, North Dakota – Average Income: $4,709,883
- Shackelford, Texas – Average Income: $4,585,725
- Westchester, New York – Average Income: $4,326,049
- Collier, Florida – Average Income: $4,191,055
- Union, South Dakota – Average Income: $4,106,670
Poorest Counties by Average Income of Top 1%
- Quitman, Georgia – Average Income: $127,425
- Taliaferro, Georgia – Average Income: $139,439
- Wade Hampton, Alaska – Average Income: $149,639
- Robertson, Kentucky – Average Income: $152,637
- Chattahoochee, Georgia – Average Income: $158,749
- Glascock, Georgia – Average Income: $169,027
- Shannon, South Dakota – Average Income: $174,433
- McCreary, Kentucky – Average Income: $177,132
- Menifee, Kentucky – Average Income: $177,192
- Jackson, Kentucky – Average Income: $178,917
MAKING THE TOP 1%
Taking the top spot by a long mile is Teton, Wyoming – the county home to the affluent Jackson Hole ski area, and 40.4% of the famous Yellowstone National Park. The Top 1% that live near Old Faithful are particularly well-off, making an average of $28.2 million each year!
New York City is another place that needs Gordon Gekko-like income to make it into the top ranks. An income of $8.1 million will put you on par with the average one percenter there.
Meanwhile, you don’t need a private jet to be one of the wealthiest people in counties in Georgia, Alaska, Kentucky, or South Dakota. If you make $180,000 per year, you are actually doing better than the average member of the Top 1% in many of those places.
The rural county of Quitman, Georgia, has the lowest average 1% income at $127,425 per year.