Highest-earning counties in North Carolina

North Carolina News
Raleigh, North Carolina (Bz3rk/Wikimedia Commons)

Raleigh, North Carolina (Bz3rk/Wikimedia Commons)

The 2019 median household income in the U.S. was $68,703, up 6.8% from 2018. COVID-19 in 2020 drastically altered income and poverty levels, along with consumer habits and job opportunities.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest-earning counties in North Carolina using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by 2019 5-year estimate median household income. Keep reading to discover which counties in your state rake in the most cash.

Data shows that annual income depends heavily on an individual’s educational attainment, race, ethnicity, gender, and even location. One cluster of the United States is particularly well off: The five counties with the highest median household income in the country can all be found in the Washington D.C. metropolitan areas of Maryland and Northern Virginia. These counties can likely attribute their wealth to their proximity to Washington D.C., which attracts highly educated and skilled people in areas of law and public policy. And people in those fields often marry each other, making two high-earning households one very high-earning household.

Keep reading to learn more about the highest-earning counties in North Carolina.

1 / 50Susan C. Griffin // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Perquimans County

– Median household income: $47,162
— 13.6% below state median, 25.0% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 18.2%
— #1,703 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 14.3%
— #914 highest rate among all counties nationwide

2 / 50AbeEzekowitz // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Jackson County

– Median household income: $47,252
— 13.5% below state median, 24.8% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 16.1%
— #2,111 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 14.2%
— #937 highest rate among all counties nationwide

3 / 50Donald Lee Pardue // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Randolph County

– Median household income: $47,288
— 13.4% below state median, 24.8% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 15.0%
— #2,330 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 12.4%
— #1,341 highest rate among all counties nationwide

4 / 50Nikola Spasic Photography // Shutterstock

#47. Pitt County

– Median household income: $47,437
— 13.1% below state median, 24.5% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 20.3%
— #1,346 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 16.3%
— #609 highest rate among all counties nationwide

5 / 50G Keith Hall // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Watauga County

– Median household income: $47,526
— 13.0% below state median, 24.4% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 20.4%
— #1,335 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 19.0%
— #334 highest rate among all counties nationwide

6 / 50Jacalyn Engler // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Stokes County

– Median household income: $48,054
— 12.0% below state median, 23.5% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 13.2%
— #2,611 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 12.4%
— #1,354 highest rate among all counties nationwide

7 / 50CZmarlin — Christopher Ziemnowicz // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Hoke County

– Median household income: $48,072
— 12.0% below state median, 23.5% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 16.9%
— #1,973 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 17.0%
— #533 highest rate among all counties nationwide

8 / 50Ken Thomas // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Alexander County

– Median household income: $48,756
— 10.7% below state median, 22.4% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 18.1%
— #1,734 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 10.9%
— #1,773 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#42. Polk County

– Median household income: $48,787
— 10.6% below state median, 22.4% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 18.3%
— #1,686 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 8.7%
— #2,395 highest rate among all counties nationwide

10 / 50BrendaByrneGreene // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Nash County

– Median household income: $49,537
— 9.3% below state median, 21.2% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 20.0%
— #1,389 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 13.9%
— #992 highest rate among all counties nationwide

11 / 50Dennis Brown // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Davidson County

– Median household income: $49,546
— 9.3% below state median, 21.2% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 17.5%
— #1,859 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.5%
— #1,588 highest rate among all counties nationwide

12 / 50Warren LeMay // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Alamance County

– Median household income: $49,688
— 9.0% below state median, 20.9% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 20.1%
— #1,381 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.6%
— #1,566 highest rate among all counties nationwide

13 / 50AlexiusHoratius // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Rowan County

– Median household income: $49,842
— 8.7% below state median, 20.7% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 17.1%
— #1,946 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.6%
— #1,566 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#37. Lee County

– Median household income: $49,994
— 8.4% below state median, 20.4% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 19.2%
— #1,516 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 12.1%
— #1,432 highest rate among all counties nationwide

15 / 50Warren LeMay from Cincinnati, OH, United States // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Transylvania County

– Median household income: $50,212
— 8.0% below state median, 20.1% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 17.6%
— #1,831 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.2%
— #1,672 highest rate among all counties nationwide

16 / 50Anya Douglas // Shutterstock

#35. Onslow County

– Median household income: $50,278
— 7.9% below state median, 20.0% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 16.7%
— #2,001 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 10.2%
— #1,984 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#34. Pasquotank County

– Median household income: $50,558
— 7.4% below state median, 19.5% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 17.8%
— #1,798 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 13.4%
— #1,098 highest rate among all counties nationwide

18 / 50Indy beetle // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Gates County

– Median household income: $50,750
— 7.1% below state median, 19.2% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 17.9%
— #1,783 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 10.2%
— #1,984 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#32. Person County

– Median household income: $51,020
— 6.6% below state median, 18.8% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 18.6%
— #1,625 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.8%
— #1,512 highest rate among all counties nationwide

20 / 50Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#31. Forsyth County

– Median household income: $51,569
— 5.6% below state median, 17.9% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 21.9%
— #1,115 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 12.9%
— #1,222 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#30. Haywood County

– Median household income: $51,659
— 5.4% below state median, 17.8% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 19.0%
— #1,553 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 10.7%
— #1,834 highest rate among all counties nationwide

22 / 50Nolichuckyjake // Shutterstock

#29. Catawba County

– Median household income: $52,056
— 4.7% below state median, 17.2% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 19.1%
— #1,532 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.3%
— #1,645 highest rate among all counties nationwide

23 / 50Nagel Photography // Shutterstock

#28. Buncombe County

– Median household income: $52,207
— 4.4% below state median, 16.9% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 21.9%
— #1,115 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 10.0%
— #2,044 highest rate among all counties nationwide

24 / 50Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Stanly County

– Median household income: $52,623
— 3.6% below state median, 16.3% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 19.7%
— #1,438 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.0%
— #1,737 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#26. Craven County

– Median household income: $52,687
— 3.5% below state median, 16.2% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 20.9%
— #1,263 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 10.6%
— #1,865 highest rate among all counties nationwide

26 / 50Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Gaston County

– Median household income: $52,835
— 3.2% below state median, 15.9% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 20.5%
— #1,316 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 12.1%
— #1,432 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#24. Guilford County

– Median household income: $53,261
— 2.5% below state median, 15.2% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 23.0%
— #957 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.8%
— #1,512 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#23. Harnett County

– Median household income: $53,554
— 1.9% below state median, 14.8% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 19.1%
— #1,532 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.9%
— #1,487 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#22. New Hanover County

– Median household income: $54,891
— 0.5% above state median, 12.7% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 25.1%
— #731 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 13.0%
— #1,197 highest rate among all counties nationwide

30 / 50Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Franklin County

– Median household income: $55,193
— 1.1% above state median, 12.2% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 21.8%
— #1,133 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 10.0%
— #2,044 highest rate among all counties nationwide

31 / 50EbonyEaton // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Granville County

– Median household income: $55,856
— 2.3% above state median, 11.1% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 22.6%
— #1,007 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.3%
— #1,645 highest rate among all counties nationwide

32 / 50Anthony Ricci // Shutterstock

#19. Henderson County

– Median household income: $55,945
— 2.5% above state median, 11.0% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 22.1%
— #1,086 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 9.1%
— #2,318 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#18. Carteret County

– Median household income: $57,194
— 4.7% above state median, 9.0% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 22.4%
— #1,044 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 9.7%
— #2,126 highest rate among all counties nationwide

34 / 50Indy beetle // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Pender County

– Median household income: $57,240
— 4.8% above state median, 8.9% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 25.4%
— #711 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 12.7%
— #1,264 highest rate among all counties nationwide

35 / 50Washuotaku // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Lincoln County

– Median household income: $57,536
— 5.4% above state median, 8.4% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 25.0%
— #738 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 9.4%
— #2,221 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#15. Brunswick County

– Median household income: $58,236
— 6.7% above state median, 7.3% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 22.9%
— #973 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 11.4%
— #1,615 highest rate among all counties nationwide

37 / 50MarkVanDykePhotography // Shutterstock

#14. Dare County

– Median household income: $59,381
— 8.8% above state median, 5.5% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 25.0%
— #738 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 6.8%
— #2,835 highest rate among all counties nationwide

38 / 50Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Johnston County

– Median household income: $59,865
— 9.6% above state median, 4.7% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 25.5%
— #698 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 8.7%
— #2,395 highest rate among all counties nationwide

39 / 50KAD Photo // Shutterstock

#12. Moore County

– Median household income: $59,963
— 9.8% above state median, 4.6% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 26.4%
— #631 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 10.1%
— #2,020 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#11. Davie County

– Median household income: $60,434
— 10.7% above state median, 3.8% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 24.3%
— #805 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 8.2%
— #2,525 highest rate among all counties nationwide

41 / 50Travis K. Witt // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Iredell County

– Median household income: $60,955
— 11.6% above state median, 3.0% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 26.9%
— #589 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 8.7%
— #2,395 highest rate among all counties nationwide

42 / 50Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#9. Durham County

– Median household income: $60,958
— 11.6% above state median, 3.0% below national median
– Households earning over $100k: 28.8%
— #466 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 9.9%
— #2,084 highest rate among all counties nationwide

43 / 50Thomas T. Waterman, Photographer // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Camden County

– Median household income: $64,572
— 18.3% above state median, 2.8% above national median
– Households earning over $100k: 22.1%
— #1,086 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 7.1%
— #2,771 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#7. Mecklenburg County

– Median household income: $66,641
— 22.0% above state median, 6.0% above national median
– Households earning over $100k: 32.5%
— #311 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 8.1%
— #2,547 highest rate among all counties nationwide

45 / 50KAD Photo // Shutterstock

#6. Chatham County

– Median household income: $67,031
— 22.8% above state median, 6.7% above national median
– Households earning over $100k: 34.3%
— #266 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 7.7%
— #2,667 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#5. Cabarrus County

– Median household income: $67,328
— 23.3% above state median, 7.1% above national median
– Households earning over $100k: 31.2%
— #363 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 7.0%
— #2,788 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#4. Currituck County

– Median household income: $69,964
— 28.1% above state median, 11.3% above national median
– Households earning over $100k: 29.7%
— #429 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 6.7%
— #2,862 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#3. Orange County

– Median household income: $71,723
— 31.4% above state median, 14.1% above national median
– Households earning over $100k: 36.9%
— #204 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 10.4%
— #1,946 highest rate among all counties nationwide

49 / 50Beckycafferylepage // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Union County

– Median household income: $80,033
— 46.6% above state median, 27.4% above national median
– Households earning over $100k: 39.2%
— #163 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 6.0%
— #2,948 highest rate among all counties nationwide

50 / 50Bz3rk // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Wake County

– Median household income: $80,591
— 47.6% above state median, 28.2% above national median
– Households earning over $100k: 39.8%
— #144 highest rate among all counties nationwide
– Households earning less than $15k: 5.9%
— #2,957 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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