The wealthy can often seem a little distant to the rest of America. However, despite all of their differences, people from various income brackets share some core similarities. For example, regardless of where they’re from, how much money they make or what they do for a living, most people tend to make their children their first priority — especially when it comes to their education.
That means there’s often a strong correlation between the quality of a school district and the wealth of the local inhabitants. Generally, school districts located in areas with a higher average income also have a larger tax base to draw on. These parents are usually ready to reach into their deep pockets to ensure their children have every possible opportunity to succeed.
Even if you aren’t among the wealthiest people in your area, raising your children in a rich neighborhood is one way to gain access to some of the best — or at least the most well-funded — public schools in your state. GOBankingRates analyzed every unified school district across America and used U.S. Census Bureau data to find the school district with the highest median household income in each state.
Alabama — Mountain Brook City School District
- Median household income: $132,825
This school district serves the small city of Mountain Brook, a wealthy suburb of Birmingham, Alabama. Niche awarded Mountain Brook City School District with an A-plus in academics, teachers, clubs and activities.
Alaska — Cordova City School District
- Median household income: $95,227
Only accessible by boat or airplane, Cordova is a small town with a population of just 2,316 people. However, that hasn’t stopped plenty of well-to-do folks from setting up camp here, as the median household income is nearly six figures.
Arizona — Cave Creek Unified District
- Median household income: $105,263
Roughly 40 miles north-northeast of Phoenix lies Arizona’s richest school district: the Cave Creek Unified District. It’s located on the edge of Tonto National Forest.
Arkansas — Valley View School District
- Median household income: $87,705
Nestled near the Arkansas town of Jonesboro, the Valley View School District is about an hour’s drive northwest of Memphis, Tennessee.
California — Piedmont City Unified School District
- Median household income: $202,631
In a battle of wealth between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, the tech entrepreneurs appear to have beaten out the movie stars. Piedmont is located just outside of Oakland, California, and its school district boasts the richest inhabitants in the state.
Colorado — Lewis-Palmer School District 38
- Median household income: $120,340
Located north of Colorado Springs, the Lewis-Palmer School District 38 is close to the legendary Colorado landmark Pikes Peak. It also has the distinction of being the state’s richest school district.
Connecticut — Weston School District
- Median household income: $219,868
Students in the Weston School District, which boasts the second-highest median household income in this study, have plenty of opportunities to explore the natural world should they develop an interest in biology. Devil’s Den Nature Preserve is right next door, and the beaches of Sherwood Island State Park lie less than 10 miles to the south.
Delaware — Appoquinimink School District
- Median household income: $100,771
Don’t worry, spelling “Appoquinimink” correctly probably isn’t a requirement for your child to attend school in this district. But, with a median household income north of six figures, most of the local residents can likely afford an English tutor, anyway.
Pictured: Middletown, Delaware
Florida — St. Johns County School District
- Median household income: $73,640
Sitting southeast of Jacksonville, Florida, St. Johns County School District is situated between St. John’s River and the Atlantic coast.
Georgia — Forsyth County School District
- Median household income: $96,445
Roughly a 50-mile drive northeast of Atlanta, the Forsyth County School District is located relatively close to Lake Lanier. Its residents earn a median household income just shy of $100,000.
Hawaii — Hawaii Department of Education
- Median household income: $74,923
You might be able to lead a less stressful life in the island paradise of Hawaii. Picking the right school district for your child won’t be an issue because all 256 schools in the state are administered by the Hawaii Department of Education.
Idaho — Kuna Joint School District 3
- Median household income: $69,880
Kuna Joint School District 3 might be the wealthiest school district in Idaho, but it’s also the “poorest” of the richest school districts. Among all the districts included in this ranking, Kuna Joint School District 3 has the lowest median household income.
Illinois — Barrington Community Unit School District 220
- Median household income: $124,433
The richest school district in Illinois is located in suburban Chicago. Barrington can be found about 40 miles northwest of the Windy City.
Indiana — Zionsville Community Schools
- Median household income: $117,573
Zionsville is a suburb of Indianapolis, sitting just north of the city along the winding Eagle Creek. The town’s inhabitants have done pretty well for themselves, as their school district boasts Indiana’s highest median household income.
Iowa — Van Meter Community School District
- Median household income: $111,298
If you’re driving out of Des Moines, Iowa, and headed west on the Interstate 80, it won’t be long before you’re driving past the Van Meter Community School District, where the median household income exceeds six figures.
Kansas — Blue Valley Unified School District 229
- Median household income: $111,477
The neighboring states of Kansas and Iowa are remarkably even when it comes to the median household income in their richest school districts. Families in suburban Kansas City’s Blue Valley Unified School District 229 earn just $179 more, on average, than families in Des Moines’ Van Meter Community School District.
Kentucky — Oldham County School District
- Median household income: $92,237
Oldham County is located a little northwest of Louisville, Kentucky. It’s one of 17 school districts in GOBankingRates’ study that have a median household income below $100,000 a year.
Louisiana — Zachary Community School District
- Median household income: $76,239
Serving the community of Zachary — which can be found just north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana — the Zachary Community School District has a median household income of $76,239. While it’s the highest in the state, that figure is also relatively low compared to other school districts in this ranking.
Maine — Falmouth
- Median household income: $108,547
Falmouth is a well-to-do school district located to the north of Portland, Maine. And, with the University of Southern Maine and the Portland Observatory close by, children attending school in this district probably don’t lack for good field trip options.
Pictured: Portland Observatory
Massachusetts — Weston School District
- Median household income: $196,651
Weston is located outside of Boston, and it’s just short of a median household income of $200,000. That figure puts the Weston School District among the 10 richest school districts on GOBankingRates’ list.
Michigan — Bloomfield Hills School District
- Median household income: $126,679
The prevalence of quality white-collar jobs in the auto industry helps make for affluent suburbs scattered across the greater Detroit metro area. Of those suburbs, none are as wealthy as Bloomfield Hills, where about half of all households earn more than $125,000.
Minnesota — Minnetonka Public School District
- Median household income: $113,709
Nestled just southwest of Minneapolis, the Minnetonka Public School District is located next to a lake — though, in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it might be more notable to find a school district that isn’t adjacent to a body of water.
Mississippi — Madison County School District
- Median household income: $76,567
The Madison County School District sits just northeast of Jackson, Mississippi. Both the Bienville and the Delta national forests are close enough to be viable day trips, which might appeal to avid biology students.
Missouri — Ladue School District
With a median household income of more than $115,000 a year, the Ladue School District is situated just west of St. Louis, aka the Gateway to the West. A field trip to this major city could be a great way for students to learn about the Lewis and Clark Expedition in history class.
Montana — Big Sky K-12 Schools
- Median household income: $80,333
Big Sky Schools can trace a long history of serving the community located in Montana’s Gallatin Canyon. Within the school district, Ophir Elementary and Middle School has been holding classes since 1906.
Pictured: Big Sky, Montana
Nevada — Lander County School District
- Median household income: $79,865
If you had assumed that Nevada’s richest school district would be located near Las Vegas, Reno or the swanky Lake Tahoe, you’d be wrong. The Lander County School District is located next to I-80 in the northern part of the state.
Pictured: Battle Mountain, Nevada
New Hampshire — Bedford School District
- Median household income: $127,945
Bedford is located southwest of Manchester, New Hampshire, across the Merrimack River. It’s not far from the border with Massachusetts.
New Jersey — Millburn Township School District
Plenty of wealthy commuters to New York City call New Jersey home, so it shouldn’t be too shocking that the Garden State’s richest school district is among the top districts in GOBankingRates’ study. Millburn Township School District is one of six districts on this list with a median household income exceeding $200,000.
New Mexico — Los Alamos Public Schools
Los Alamos is home to the state’s richest school district. It’s also close to places like the Manhattan Project National Historical Park or the Bradbury Science Museum, which means kids developing a passion for science should have a lot to feed their interest.
New York — Scarsdale Union Free School District
The richest school district in the entire country is the Scarsdale Union Free School District located just south of White Plains, New York. The median household income in this area is upward of a quarter-million dollars.
North Carolina — Wake County Schools
While the Wake County Schools area is home to the highest earners in North Carolina, it can’t compare to the richest school districts from other states. The median household income is under $75,000 a year, which is the third-lowest in GOBankingRates’ study.
North Dakota — Thompson Public School District 61
Thompson Public Schools — home of the Tommies — states its mission is to “develop lifelong learners and responsible citizens.” With the median household income exceeding six figures, the school district should have plenty of funding to commit to seeing its mission through.
Ohio — Orange City School District
- Median household income: $127,586
Located in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, the Orange City School District has the highest median household income in Ohio, making it the Buckeye State’s richest school district.
Pictured: Cleveland, Ohio
Oregon — Riverdale School District 51J
- Median household income: $217,607
Riverdale School District 51J boasts a median household income of $217,607, putting it among the wealthiest school districts in the country. Only two other districts in this study have higher average incomes.
Pennsylvania — Unionville-Chadds Ford School District
Just southwest of West Chester, Unionville-Chadds Ford School District is situated among the suburbs of both Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. The median household income in this area exceeds $125,000 per year.
Rhode Island — Barrington School District
- Median household income: $117,408
In the nation’s smallest state, the richest school district can be found in Barrington, which is a suburb of Providence, Rhode Island. Its residents have a median household income of over $115,000.
South Carolina — York School District 4
- Median household income: $88,612
Near Lake Wylie, South Carolina’s richest school district sits right near the border with North Carolina. It goes by both the Fort Mills Schools District and the York School District 4.
Pictured: Lake Wylie in York County, South Carolina
Tennessee — Collierville School District
- Median household income: $113,957
It’s not suburban Nashville that can claim the title of Tennessee’s richest school district. Situated east of Memphis, Tennessee, the Collierville School District takes that honor.
Texas — Highland Park Independent School District (Dallas County)
The northern Dallas suburb of Highland Park is home to Texas’ richest school district. It’s one of the six school districts on this list with a median household income of more than $200,000.
Utah — Park City School District
- Median household income: $111,231
Park City might be most famous for hosting the Sundance Film Festival, but it’s also home to Utah’s richest school district. The Park City School District has a median household income of over $110,000.
Virginia — Loudoun County Public Schools
Sitting right outside of the nation’s capital, Virginia’s wealthiest school district is Loudon County Public Schools. The average household in this section of the suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C., pulls down nearly $130,000 per year in income.
Washington — Mercer Island School District
- Median household income: $136,644
Mercer Island is located in Lake Washington, between Seattle and Bellevue, Washington. It’s home to a high concentration of wealth — the state’s richest residents can be found in this area.
West Virginia — Jefferson County School District
- Median household income: $72,526
West Virginia’s richest school district is the Jefferson County School District. However, the median household income in this area is low compared to the wealthiest school districts in other states, ranking second to last in the country.
Wisconsin — Norris School District
- Median household income: $143,750
About 25 miles inland from Lake Michigan, suburban Milwaukee’s Norris School District is the richest school district in Wisconsin. The average household in this area earns more than $140,000 per year.
Wyoming — Sublette County School District No. 1
- Median household income: $88,125
Sublette County School District No. 1 isn’t a school district that makes extra cash by renting its facilities out to other districts on a temporary basis. It serves the community of Pinedale, Wyoming, full time during the school year.
Pictured: Pinedale, Wyoming
The Richest School Districts Across America
Even among the nation’s wealthiest school districts, there’s still a wide income gap between the top earners in each state. For example, the richest school district in Idaho — Kuna Joint School District 3 — has a median household income that’s less than one-third of what families in Scarsdale Union Free School District near New York City make.
Click through to find out how much you need to be in the top 5% in each state.
More on the Economy
- These Are the Best States for Rich Americans, Study Says
- Here’s How 62% of Aspiring Millionaires Plan To Strike It Rich — Will It Work?
- 50 Ways You’re Throwing Money Away
- Best Balance-Transfer Credit Cards of 2019
Methodology: GOBankingRates analyzed every unified school district in all 50 states, determining the wealthiest school districts based on the highest median household income, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey.
Pictured: Edgewood School in Scarsdale, New York
About the Author
Joel Anderson is a business and finance writer with over a decade of experience writing about the wide world of finance. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in writing about the financial markets, stocks, macroeconomic concepts and focuses on helping make complex financial concepts digestible for the retail investor.