The Richest School Districts in Every State

·13 min read
SDI Productions / Getty Images
SDI Productions / Getty Images

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.

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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.

Here's the richest school district in every state.

Last updated: June 21, 2021

Alabama Birmingham
Alabama Birmingham

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.

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Cordova, Alaska
Cordova, Alaska

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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Scottsdale Arizona
Scottsdale Arizona

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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Downtown Jonesboro, Arkansas, June 2011.
Downtown Jonesboro, Arkansas, June 2011.

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.

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Oakland California
Oakland California

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 Springs
Colorado Springs

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.

Sherwood Island State Park, Connecticut.
Sherwood Island State Park, Connecticut.

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.

Middletown Delaware historic district
Middletown Delaware historic district

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
Florida — St. Johns County School District

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.

Lake Lanier East View, Georgia.
Lake Lanier East View, Georgia.

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
Hawaii — Hawaii Department of Education

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.

Kuna Idaho
Kuna Idaho

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.

View of one of typical Midwest USA city (Chicago in this case) suburbs neighborhood on a nice spring day.
View of one of typical Midwest USA city (Chicago in this case) suburbs neighborhood on a nice spring day.

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
Indiana — Zionsville Community Schools

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.

Downtown Des Moines skyline and Martin Luther King Jr.
Downtown Des Moines skyline and Martin Luther King Jr.

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
Kansas — Blue Valley Unified School District 229

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
Kentucky — Oldham County 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.

Baton Rouge Louisiana
Baton Rouge Louisiana

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.

Portland Observatory in Maine
Portland Observatory in Maine

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
Maryland — Howard County Public Schools

Maryland — Howard County Public Schools

  • Median household income: $121,160

Howard County is situated just to the west of Baltimore. With a median household income exceeding $121,160, it's clear why this area is home to Maryland's richest school district.

Massachusetts — Weston School District
Massachusetts — Weston School District

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.

Detroit Michigan
Detroit Michigan

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.

Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis, MN

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
Mississippi — Madison County School District

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
Missouri

Missouri — Madison County School District

  • Median household income: $129,127

With a median household income of nearly $130,000 a year, the Madison County School District is an attractive place for families to live and send their students to school.

Big Sky Montana mountains
Big Sky Montana mountains

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.

Elkhorn Nebraska
Elkhorn Nebraska

Nebraska — Gretna Public Schools

  • Median household income: $115,237

Gretna is a highly rated school district in Sarpy County, Nebraska, with a median household income well over six figures.

Battle Mountain Nevada downtown main street
Battle Mountain Nevada downtown main street

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 — Bedford School District
New Hampshire — Bedford School District

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 — Millburn Township School District
New Jersey — Millburn Township School District

New Jersey — Mountain Lakes Borough School District

  • Median household income: $241,667

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 Mexico — Los Alamos Public Schools

New Mexico — Los Alamos Public Schools

  • Median household income: $121,324

Los Alamos is home to the state's richest school district. It's also close to places like the Manhattan Project National Historical Park or the Bradbury Science Museum, which means kids developing a passion for science should have a lot to feed their interest.

Scarsdale High School New York
Scarsdale High School New York

New York — Scarsdale Union Free School District, Cold Spring Harbor Central, Chappaqua Central

  • Median household income: $250,000-plus

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.

Apex High School North Carolina
Apex High School North Carolina

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.

Grand Forks
Grand Forks

North Dakota — Thompson Public School District 61

  • Median household income: $106,607

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.

Cars come and go at sunrise before rush hour in Clevland Ohio on Lake Erie.
Cars come and go at sunrise before rush hour in Clevland Ohio on Lake Erie.

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 City in Oklahoma
Oklahoma City in Oklahoma

Oklahoma — Deer Creek Public Schools

  • Median household income: $108,788

Head north from Oklahoma City, and you'll eventually pass through Deer Creek Public Schools, near Edmond, Oklahoma. The median household income in this school district is more than $100,000 per year.

Oregon Portland
Oregon Portland

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.

Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Pennsylvania

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
Rhode Island — Barrington School District

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.

Lake Wylie in South Carolina
Lake Wylie in South Carolina

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 Sioux Falls
South Dakota Sioux Falls

South Dakota — Brandon Valley School District 49-2

  • Median household income: $93,302

The state's richest district is the Brandon Valley School District, which is located on the eastern edge of South Dakota, bordering Minnesota. However, the median household income in this area is only about $93,000.

Memphis TN
Memphis TN

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 — Highland Park Independent School District (Dallas County)
Texas — Highland Park Independent School District (Dallas County)

Texas — Carroll Independent School District

  • Median household income: $223,125

This district in Texas serves most of the city of Southlake, Texas and portions of northwest Grapevine, far northern Colleyville, and eastern Westlake. At $223,125 in annual income, it's among the top 7 richest districts on this study.

Utah — Park City School District
Utah — Park City 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
Vermont

Vermont — Norwich School District

  • Median household income: $121,563

Norwich School District serves the towns of Hanover, New Hampshire and Norwich, Vermont. Here, families are doing well, with an annual income over $120,000.

Virginia — Loudoun County Public Schools
Virginia — Loudoun County Public Schools

Virginia — Loudoun County Public Schools

  • Median household income: $142,299

Sitting right outside of the nation's capital, Virginia's wealthiest school district is Loudon County Public Schools. The average household in this section of the suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C., pulls down nearly $140,000 per year in income.

Washington — Mercer Island School District
Washington — Mercer Island School District

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
West Virginia

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.

Milwaukee aerial in Wisconsin
Milwaukee aerial in Wisconsin

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.

Pinedale Wyoming overlook
Pinedale Wyoming overlook

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.

Edgewood School in Scarsdale in New york
Edgewood School in Scarsdale in New york

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.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Richest School Districts in Every State

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