These Are the Wealthiest School Districts Across America, Study Finds

Did your school district make the list?

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.

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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.


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.

StateWealthiest School DistrictHousehold Median Income
AlabamaMountain Brook City School District$129,777
AlaskaCordova City School District$107,771
ArizonaCave Creek Unified District$105,788
ArkansasValley View School District$85,943
CaliforniaPiedmont City Unified School District$202,083
ColoradoLewis-Palmer School District 38$113,087
ConnecticutWeston School District$218,152
DelawareAppoquinimink School District$96,034
FloridaSt. Johns County School District$69,523
GeorgiaForsyth County School District$91,842
HawaiiHawaii Department of Education$71,977
IdahoMeridian Joint School District 2$65,797
IllinoisBarrington Community Unit School District 220$122,843
IndianaZionsville Community Schools$114,788
IowaSolon Community School District$98,944
KansasBlue Valley Unified School District 229$106,993
KentuckyOldham County School District$86,324
LouisianaZachary Community School District$73,923
MaineSchool Administrative District 51$113,125
MarylandHoward County Public Schools$113,800
MassachusettsWeston School District$191,744
MichiganBloomfield Hills School District$124,137
MinnesotaMinnetonka Public School District$110,358
MississippiMadison County School District$74,049
MissouriLadue School District$111,284
MontanaRoberts K-12 Schools$64,063
NebraskaElkhorn Public Schools$102,236
NevadaLander County School District$78,077
New HampshireBedford School District$126,030
New JerseyMillburn Township School District$190,625
New MexicoLos Alamos Public Schools$105,902
New YorkScarsdale Union Free School District$250,000+
North CarolinaWake County Schools$70,620
North DakotaThompson Public School District 61$103,813
OhioIndian Hill Exempted Village School District$122,500
OklahomaDeer Creek Public Schools$103,816
OregonRiverdale School District 51J$194,375
PennsylvaniaUnionville-Chadds Ford School District$124,826
Rhode IslandBarrington School District$116,935
South CarolinaYork School District 4$83,365
South DakotaHarrisburg School District 41-2$81,197
TennesseeCollierville School District$110,591
TexasHighland Park Independent School District (Dallas County)$192,981
UtahPark City School District$108,47
VermontChittenden East Supervisory Union$87,666
VirginiaLoudoun County Public Schools$125,672
WashingtonMercer Island School District$129,348
West VirginiaJefferson County School District$69,753
WisconsinNorris School District$146,250
WyomingCampbell 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.

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.