Show me the money! We know there's definitely a huge gap when it comes to distribution of wealth in New York state. When you're not that far away from one of the richest cities in the world, you can sometimes find yourself paying big city-level prices while trying to get by on just a regular income. Maybe this is why some are fleeing for less expensive areas in the country?

But where are the wealthiest counties in the state outside of New York City or Long Island?

The Rankings

The website Stacker but together the rankings using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and it appears there are a few Hudson Valley counties near the top of the list. One of which has a median household income of $107,246, which is 50.8% above state average, according to the study. Overall, Nassau County was #1 in the state with a median household income of $120,036.

Counties are ranked by 2020 five year estimate median household income, according to NY Upstate.


Hudson Valley Counties Rank High

The data from the Census Bureau rated Putnam County as the state's second wealthiest county, with 53.5% of households earning over $100k - making it the 26th highest in the nation overall.

Other Local Counties 

  • 4. Westchester County
  • 5. Rockland County
  • 9. Dutchess County
  • 10. Orange County
  • 13. Columbia County
  • 16. Ulster County
  • 28. Sullivan County
  • 42. Greene County

Delaware County did not rank in the top 50 counties.

Is New York Still a Great Place to Live?

We love New York, right? You may hear of residents moving out of the state every year for greener pastures, but a recent study ranks the Empire State as a pretty good location to live in overall. But, there are some categories that New York ranked near the bottom of the nation for. Want to guess which ones? How can we improve?


A website called TOP Agency compiled a list of all the states and ranked them on eight key dimensions: Affordability, Crime & Safety, Economy, Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Opportunity, and Quality of Life. Where is New York? Overall, we ranked as the 19th best state to live in. We were 6th best for Healthcare and 8th best for Crime & Safety.


As we watch the news every night, the fact that New York ranked so well in crime and safety may surprise some. TOP Agency broke down that category into such metrics as; motor vehicle theft and damage, hate crimes, burglary, homicide, property crime, robbery rate, fraud and identity theft, mass shooting casualties, sex offenders, fatal motor vehicle crashes, and fire fatalities. The rates from each metric were broken down per 100K people from the year 2020. So, consider the state's overall population, and the fact that a lot of the higher violent crimes are committed in New York City.

Where We Need Improvement 

New York ranked 47th overall for Affordability and 44th for Economy.

How Are We Compared to Our Neighbors? 

While 19 out of 50 isn't bad, we fell behind compared to some of the other states surrounding us. Vermont was 2nd overall, Massachusetts was 5th, New Jersey 7th, and Pennsylvania 13th.

Louisiana ranked dead last overall at 50th, Mississippi 49th, and maybe surprisingly  California at 48th.

Residents are Still Leaving New York Though

We know, that people are continuing to leave New York. Everything from poor job growth outside of New York City, to high taxes, to the cold winters have been blamed in the past. But now add a global pandemic and it appears that even more residents are fleeing.

New York was especially hit hard by COVID-19 in the early months of 2020, and it looks like it's taken its toll.


According to numbers released by the US Census Bureau, the Empire State lost 319,020 people from July 2020 to July 2021. That's quite a significant number that outnumbers the combined population drop in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Louisiana, the District of Columbia, Michigan, and Ohio. That's big.

Estimates from the Census Bureau say 126,355 residents left New York between July 2019 and July 2020. Spectrum News says that New York will lose a congressional seat in 2022 in the House of Representatives. New York's population has been steadily dropping since 2010. According to the numbers from the Empire Center for Public Policy, the state has lost 1,379,210 residents between 2010 and 2019, and that's not even factoring in the latest numbers. One can only imagine what those numbers will look like in a few more years.

See the full TopAgency list HERE.

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