The Richest School Districts in America

Courtney Williams's picture
Monday, June 11, 2012

The average income of Americans differs by state, county, city and ZIP code, obviously. At each level, the amount residents earn every year impacts available government services, health and overall quality of life. This is especially true when education is examined by school district. 

24/7 Wall St. analyzed census data from 2006 through 2010 for each of the more than 10,000 unified school districts in the United States. Wealth appears to have an outsized effect on education at the local level. Residents who live in wealthy school districts have among the best schools in the nation based on graduation rates, test scores and independent ratings of academic success. Children who attend these schools are more likely to earn a college degree than the national average. To illustrate the influence wealth and poverty have on educational attainment, 24/7 Wall St. examined the wealthiest and poorest school districts in the country.

Nearly all of the wealthiest school districts are found within a short distance from cities that are among the richest in the country. Other than one suburb of Portland, Ore., all of the wealthiest school districts are in commuter towns of New York City, located in either Fairfield County, Conn., or Westchester County, N.Y. The poorest districts are rural communities scattered all over the country, from Ohio and Kentucky to Texas and Mississippi.

Compared to the national median income, the families in the most well-off districts are incredibly wealthy. In the 10 richest school districts, median incomes ranged from $175,766 to $238,000. By comparison, the national median household income from 2006 to 2010 was $51,914. Among the 10 wealthiest districts, between 48 percent and 64 percent earned $200,000. Nationally, only 5.4 percent of households earned more than that.

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