IRS at Work

Income Subject to Federal Taxation: By County

The latest available information about the income of taxpayers in each of the nation's 3,140 counties are available on TRAC's IRS Web Site. Included is information about the adjusted gross income, income from dividends and the number of dependents claimed. The data allow the comparison of any county with the others in its state and in the nation as a whole. Special tables list the 50 top and 50 bottom counties.

At $107,694, the taxpayers in Teton County, Wyoming reported the highest average gross adjusted income in the United States. This average was more than five times higher than the $18,761 reported in Zavala County, Texas, the lowest in the country.

Three of the five counties reporting the highest average gross adjusted income in 2002 were located in the East, whereas in 2001, all five were in the West. After Teton County in Wyoming, the next four wealthiest counties were Fairfield County, Connecticut ($105,289), Marin County, California ($100,358), Somerset County, New Jersey ($96,307), and Morris County, New Jersey ($95,185).

The exemptions claimed by a taxpayer is an indicator of the number of children in a household. This means a county claiming comparatively few exemptions is a place with a relatively large number of small families and a county with lots of exemptions is a place with a comparatively large number of large families.

The five counties with the fewest exemptions in the United States were Pitkin County, Colorado (155 per 100 returns), San Francisco County, California, New York County, New York and Alexandria City, Virginia (all with 162 per 100 returns), and Arlington County, Virginia (163 per 100 returns).

Three counties from Utah, and one each from Idaho and South Dakota were in the top five for the number of exemptions claimed per 100 tax returns in 2002. They were Millard County, Utah (294 per 100 returns), Sanpete County, Utah (289 per 100 returns), Franklin County, Idaho (288 per 100 returns), and Shannon County, South Dakota and Juab County, Utah (both with 287 per 100 returns).

The difference in wages and salaries between the poorest and the richest counties narrowed from the prior year. In 2001, the lowest was Carter County, Montana ($12,007) and the highest was Douglas County, Colorado ($81,358). In 2002, the lowest was Liberty County Montana ($13,111) and the highest was Fairfield County Connecticut ($76,913).

(See top and bottom 50 county listings.)

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