The wealthy may seem to live differently from 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.
Last updated: June 21, 2021
Alabama — Mountain Brook City School District
- Median household income: $152,355
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 — Unalaska City School District
- Median household income: $94,750
Unalaska City is a small town with a population of just 4,724 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.
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Arizona — Cave Creek Unified District
- Median household income: $116,331
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.
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Arkansas — Valley View School District
- Median household income: $91,792
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: $224,205
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: $123,179
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 — Darien School District
- Median household income: $232,523
Students in the Darien School District, which boasts the second-highest median household income in this study, have plenty of opportunities to explore the natural world in this coastal town that is also only 37 miles from New York.
Delaware — Appoquinimink School District
- Median household income: $103,518
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.
Florida — St. Johns County School District
- Median household income: $82,252
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: $107,218
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 in the low $100,000s.
Hawaii — Hawaii Department of Education
- Median household income: $81,275
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: $75,252
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: $132,069
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: $128,603
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: $117,147
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: $120,973
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 $3,826 more, on average, than families in Des Moines’ Van Meter Community School District.
Kentucky — Oldham County School District
- Median household income: $99,128
Oldham County is located a little northwest of Louisville, Kentucky. It’s one of 14 school districts in GOBankingRates’ study that have a median household income below $100,000 a year.
Louisiana — Ascension Parish School District
- Median household income: $80,527
Serving the community of Donaldson– which can be found in southern Louisiana along the Mississippi river, the Ascension Parish School District has a median household income of $80,527. While it’s the highest in the state, that figure is also relatively low compared to other school districts in this ranking.
Maine — Cape Elizabeth
- Median household income: $123,116
Cape Elizabeth is a well-to-do school coastal district near Portland, Maine. Situated right along Casco Bay, this school district is full of natural beauty.
Maryland — Howard County Public Schools
Massachusetts — Weston School District
- Median household income: $207,702
Weston is located outside of Boston, and it’s just over a median household income of $200,000. That figure puts the Weston School District among the 10 richest school districts on GOBankingRates’ list.
Michigan — East Grand Rapids Public School District
- Median household income: $143,906
This community attracts numerous families with its abundance of parks and nature, safe neighborhoods, and award-winning school district. People who live here can afford all the community has to offer, with a median income over $140,000.
Minnesota — Minnetonka Public School District
- Median household income: $128,582
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: $83,293
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 — Madison County School District
Montana — Blue Creek Elementary School District
- Median household income: $102,583
Blue School Creek serves over 193 students and schools here have a better rating than in other parts of Montana. Clearly, families are thriving here, making over $100,000 median income.
Nebraska — Gretna Public Schools
Nevada — Lander County School District
- Median household income: $88,030
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.
New Hampshire — Windham School District
- Median household income: $148,459
Windham is located in southeastern New Hampshire, about three miles from the border with Massachusetts. Here, the median income is almost $150,000 per year.
New Jersey — Mountain Lakes Borough 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. Mountain Lakes Borough School District is one of seven districts on this list with a median household income exceeding $200,000.
New Mexico — Los Alamos Public Schools
New York — Scarsdale Union Free School District, Cold Spring Harbor Central, Chappaqua Central
New York has not one, but three richest school districts where families earn $250,000 or more. The Scarsdale Union Free School District, located just south of White Plains, New York; Cold Spring Harbor Central School District; and Chappaqua Central School District.
North Carolina — Wake County Schools
- Median household income: $80,591
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 just over $80,000, making it one of the 8 counties in the GoBankingRates’ study that is in the $80,000s.
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: $147,974
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.
Oklahoma — Deer Creek Public Schools
Oregon — Riverdale School District 51J
- Median household income: $250,000
Riverdale School District 51J ties with New York for the wealthiest school districts in the country.
Pennsylvania — Tredyfrrin-Easttown School District
- Median household income: $141,319
Tredyfrrin-Easttown School District is located in eastern Chester County, Pennsylvania. The median household income in this area exceeds $140,000 per year.
Rhode Island — Barrington School District
- Median household income: $125,431
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 $125,000.
South Carolina — York School District 4
- Median household income: $95,962
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.
South Dakota — Brandon Valley School District 49-2
Tennessee — Williamson County School District
- Median household income: $124,762
Williamson is an agricultural county in Tennessee that claims the title of Tennessee’s richest school district. Here families average over $120,000 in annual income.
Texas — Carroll Independent School District
Utah — Park City School District
- Median household income: $125,360
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 $125,000.
Vermont — Norwich School District
Virginia — Loudoun County Public Schools
Washington — Mercer Island School District
- Median household income: $147,566
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: $80,430
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 in the bottom five of the country’s richest districts.
Wisconsin — Norris School District
- Median household income: $148,125
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 $148,000 per year.
Wyoming — Teton County School District 1
- Median household income: $84,678
Teton County School District No. 1 is a public school district located in Jackson. It serves over 2,881 students in grades K-12. Families here get by on nearly $85,000 per year.
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.
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Jordan Rosenfeld contributed to the reporting for this article.
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 Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. All data was collected and is up to date as of May 26, 2021.
Photo Disclaimer: Please note photos are for representational purposes only.