GOBankingRates

These Are the Wealthiest School Districts Across America, Study Finds

Access to top-quality public schools is often one of the deciding factors for young families when they’re finding a home. That’s probably why the best school districts tend to attract some of the wealthiest inhabitants, as those are the people most likely to have the resources and flexibility to be able to move into these sought-after neighborhoods.

However, depending on where you live, the incomes in the top school districts in your state can vary widely, according to a new analysis from GOBankingRates. GOBankingRates found that some districts appear to offer an opportunity for middle-class Americans while others seem limited to only some of the wealthiest people in the country.

The study looked at every school district in the country to determine which ones have the highest household median incomes in each state. The results show an America that’s starkly different from state to state when it comes to income and wealth.

A quick look at the states with the wealthiest school districts would indicate that there’s a clear correlation between the states with the highest average incomes and the richest schools. Of the 10 states with the wealthiest school districts, five are also among those states with the highest household incomes — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Massachusetts.

Likewise, there are similar trends when comparing the richest school districts in each state to the median home prices across the country. Once again, five of the 10 states with the wealthiest school districts also appear among the 10 states with the highest home costs — California, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon and New Jersey.

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However, some states — including Hawaii and Alabama — bucked these trends. Despite being the state with the fifth-lowest average household income and the sixth-lowest median home price, Alabama comes in at No. 9 in this study with the median income in Mountain Brook School District reaching almost $130,000. In Alabama, the median household income is under $45,000 and a mid-level house costing just $125,000.

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The flip side of that coin would be the island paradise of Hawaii. The richest school district in the Aloha State is the Hawaii Department of Education, which covers the entire state. Hawaii’s median household income of $71,977 makes it the fourth-wealthiest state by that metric. But when comparing the entire state to the wealthiest individual school district in other states, Hawaii drops to the sixth-lowest median income in its “wealthiest” school district.

What’s more, Hawaii’s median home price of $718,400 is the highest in the country. So, it’s a little surprising Hawaii ranks so low in terms of its school district.

Here are all the wealthiest school districts in each state in the country.

State Wealthiest School District Household Median Income
Alabama Mountain Brook City School District $129,777
Alaska Cordova City School District $107,771
Arizona Cave Creek Unified District $105,788
Arkansas Valley View School District $85,943
California Piedmont City Unified School District $202,083
Colorado Lewis-Palmer School District 38 $113,087
Connecticut Weston School District $218,152
Delaware Appoquinimink School District $96,034
Florida St. Johns County School District $69,523
Georgia Forsyth County School District $91,842
Hawaii Hawaii Department of Education $71,977
Idaho Meridian Joint School District 2 $65,797
Illinois Barrington Community Unit School District 220 $122,843
Indiana Zionsville Community Schools $114,788
Iowa Solon Community School District $98,944
Kansas Blue Valley Unified School District 229 $106,993
Kentucky Oldham County School District $86,324
Louisiana Zachary Community School District $73,923
Maine School Administrative District 51 $113,125
Maryland Howard County Public Schools $113,800
Massachusetts Weston School District $191,744
Michigan Bloomfield Hills School District $124,137
Minnesota Minnetonka Public School District $110,358
Mississippi Madison County School District $74,049
Missouri Ladue School District $111,284
Montana Roberts K-12 Schools $64,063
Nebraska Elkhorn Public Schools $102,236
Nevada Lander County School District $78,077
New Hampshire Bedford School District $126,030
New Jersey Millburn Township School District $190,625
New Mexico Los Alamos Public Schools $105,902
New York Scarsdale Union Free School District $250,000+
North Carolina Wake County Schools $70,620
North Dakota Thompson Public School District 61 $103,813
Ohio Indian Hill Exempted Village School District $122,500
Oklahoma Deer Creek Public Schools $103,816
Oregon Riverdale School District 51J $194,375
Pennsylvania Unionville-Chadds Ford School District $124,826
Rhode Island Barrington School District $116,935
South Carolina York School District 4 $83,365
South Dakota Harrisburg School District 41-2 $81,197
Tennessee Collierville School District $110,591
Texas Highland Park Independent School District (Dallas County) $192,981
Utah Park City School District $108,47
Vermont Chittenden East Supervisory Union $87,666
Virginia Loudoun County Public Schools $125,672
Washington Mercer Island School District $129,348
West Virginia Jefferson County School District $69,753
Wisconsin Norris School District $146,250
Wyoming Campbell County School District 1 $80,822

Click through to see best and worst states for families to live a richer life.

Methodology: The study analyzed every unified school district in all 50 states, determining the wealthiest school districts based on the highest median household income, sourced from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey.