Lowest-earning counties in California

Written by:
July 14, 2022
Almonroth // Wikimedia Commons

Lowest-earning counties in California

Americans on the whole were doing well financially heading into 2020, with major markers like unemployment reaching 50-year lows. The pandemic changed all that: During the second quarter of the 2020 fiscal year, our nation's real GDP fell by a whopping 31.4%, a number that hasn't been seen since the Great Depression. Since then the GDP has recovered, the first quarter of 2022 was 11% above the fourth quarter of 2019.

While GDP has recovered since the height of the pandemic, wage growth has not kept pace with inflation. In 2021 average hourly wages increased 4.7% while there was 7% inflation, meaning the worker's purchasing power dropped by 2.4%.

Where you live can make a big impact on your financial situation. The highest earning county in the U.S. earns $147,111, while the lowest earns $22,292. Stacker compiled a list of the lowest-earning counties in California using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the Census' 2020 5-year estimate median household income.

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Stan Shebs // Wikicommons

#50. Napa County

- Median household income: $92,219
--- 17.2% above state average, 41.9% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 46.8%
--- #71 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 6.0%
--- #3,064 highest among all counties nationwide

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Aaronbrick // Wikicommons

#49. Santa Cruz County

- Median household income: $89,986
--- 14.4% above state average, 38.5% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 45.8%
--- #84 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.0%
--- #3,050 highest among all counties nationwide

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#48. Ventura County

- Median household income: $89,295
--- 13.5% above state average, 37.4% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 44.5%
--- #95 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 5.8%
--- #3,045 highest among all counties nationwide

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Fred Hsu // Wikicommons

#47. Sonoma County

- Median household income: $86,173
--- 9.5% above state average, 32.6% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 42.5%
--- #125 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 6.6%
--- #3,022 highest among all counties nationwide

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Michael Patrick // Wikimedia Commons

#46. San Benito County

- Median household income: $85,808
--- 9.1% above state average, 32.0% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 43.0%
--- #116 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 4.6%
--- #3,019 highest among all counties nationwide

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Susan Popielaski // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Alpine County

- Median household income: $85,750
--- 9.0% above state average, 31.9% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 42.9%
--- #118 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 2.8%
--- #3,017 highest among all counties nationwide

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#44. Solano County

- Median household income: $84,638
--- 7.6% above state average, 30.2% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 41.4%
--- #144 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 6.1%
--- #3,005 highest among all counties nationwide

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DimiTalen // Wikimedia Commons

#43. El Dorado County

- Median household income: $83,710
--- 6.4% above state average, 28.8% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 42.4%
--- #127 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 7.3%
--- #2,995 highest among all counties nationwide

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SD Dirk // Flickr

#42. San Diego County

- Median household income: $82,426
--- 4.8% above state average, 26.8% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 41.4%
--- #146 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 7.3%
--- #2,975 highest among all counties nationwide

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Pixabay

#41. Santa Barbara County

- Median household income: $78,925
--- 0.3% above state average, 21.4% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 39.3%
--- #183 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.0%
--- #2,933 highest among all counties nationwide

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Basar // Wikicommons

#40. San Luis Obispo County

- Median household income: $77,948
--- 0.9% below state average, 19.9% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 38.4%
--- #204 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.2%
--- #2,927 highest among all counties nationwide

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Naotake Murayama // Wikicommons

#39. Monterey County

- Median household income: $76,943
--- 2.2% below state average, 18.4% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 36.5%
--- #247 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 5.6%
--- #2,915 highest among all counties nationwide

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Epolk // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Yolo County

- Median household income: $73,746
--- 6.3% below state average, 13.5% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 37.6%
--- #223 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.0%
--- #2,862 highest among all counties nationwide

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BDS2006 // Wikimedia

#37. Los Angeles County

- Median household income: $71,358
--- 9.3% below state average, 9.8% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 35.6%
--- #266 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 10.1%
--- #2,799 highest among all counties nationwide

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Daniel Orth // Flickr

#36. Riverside County

- Median household income: $70,732
--- 10.1% below state average, 8.8% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 34.5%
--- #294 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.8%
--- #2,787 highest among all counties nationwide

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#35. Sacramento County

- Median household income: $70,684
--- 10.2% below state average, 8.8% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 34.2%
--- #306 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.0%
--- #2,785 highest among all counties nationwide

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LPS.1 // Wikicommons

#34. San Joaquin County

- Median household income: $68,628
--- 12.8% below state average, 5.6% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 33.1%
--- #346 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.7%
--- #2,720 highest among all counties nationwide

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Frank Schulenburg // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Nevada County

- Median household income: $68,333
--- 13.1% below state average, 5.1% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 33.4%
--- #340 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.2%
--- #2,713 highest among all counties nationwide

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#32. Calaveras County

- Median household income: $67,054
--- 14.8% below state average, 3.2% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 29.7%
--- #505 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 7.7%
--- #2,655 highest among all counties nationwide

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#31. San Bernardino County

- Median household income: $65,761
--- 16.4% below state average, 1.2% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 30.2%
--- #473 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.9%
--- #2,610 highest among all counties nationwide

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Amador County

- Median household income: $65,187
--- 17.1% below state average, 0.3% above national average
- Households earning over $100k: 28.4%
--- #587 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.9%
--- #2,575 highest among all counties nationwide

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clr_flickr from Rocklin, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Mono County

- Median household income: $64,924
--- 17.5% below state average, 0.1% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 23.6%
--- #1,051 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 5.6%
--- #2,560 highest among all counties nationwide

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Ray Bouknight // Wikicommons

#28. Sutter County

- Median household income: $63,502
--- 19.3% below state average, 2.3% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 29.0%
--- #547 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.0%
--- #2,478 highest among all counties nationwide

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Public Domain

#27. Stanislaus County

- Median household income: $62,873
--- 20.1% below state average, 3.3% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 28.4%
--- #584 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.9%
--- #2,447 highest among all counties nationwide

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#26. Madera County

- Median household income: $61,924
--- 21.3% below state average, 4.7% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 26.1%
--- #767 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.3%
--- #2,392 highest among all counties nationwide

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Armona // Wikicommons

#25. Kings County

- Median household income: $61,556
--- 21.8% below state average, 5.3% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 24.9%
--- #897 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.0%
--- #2,359 highest among all counties nationwide

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Tuolumne County

- Median household income: $60,509
--- 23.1% below state average, 6.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 28.7%
--- #564 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.0%
--- #2,291 highest among all counties nationwide

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CleanWater17 // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Colusa County

- Median household income: $59,427
--- 24.5% below state average, 8.6% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 23.7%
--- #1,030 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.5%
--- #2,194 highest among all counties nationwide

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Yuba County

- Median household income: $59,424
--- 24.5% below state average, 8.6% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 26.7%
--- #717 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.5%
--- #2,193 highest among all counties nationwide

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Chuck Abbe // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Inyo County

- Median household income: $59,296
--- 24.6% below state average, 8.8% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 23.4%
--- #1,072 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.9%
--- #2,184 highest among all counties nationwide

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Kenneth Green // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Plumas County

- Median household income: $57,233
--- 27.3% below state average, 11.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 26.5%
--- #733 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.8%
--- #2,012 highest among all counties nationwide

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Doug Kerr // Wikicommons

#19. Shasta County

- Median household income: $57,139
--- 27.4% below state average, 12.1% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 24.5%
--- #932 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.9%
--- #1,999 highest among all counties nationwide

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David Jordan // Wikicommons

#18. Fresno County

- Median household income: $57,109
--- 27.4% below state average, 12.1% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 26.2%
--- #763 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.1%
--- #1,993 highest among all counties nationwide

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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Lassen County

- Median household income: $56,971
--- 27.6% below state average, 12.3% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 22.4%
--- #1,216 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.7%
--- #1,979 highest among all counties nationwide

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Mark Miller // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Merced County

- Median household income: $56,330
--- 28.4% below state average, 13.3% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 23.3%
--- #1,080 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 10.7%
--- #1,924 highest among all counties nationwide

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#15. Butte County

- Median household income: $54,972
--- 30.1% below state average, 15.4% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 25.9%
--- #781 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.9%
--- #1,798 highest among all counties nationwide

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nickchapman // Wikicommons

#14. Kern County

- Median household income: $54,851
--- 30.3% below state average, 15.6% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 24.2%
--- #968 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.3%
--- #1,782 highest among all counties nationwide

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Binksternet // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Mendocino County

- Median household income: $52,915
--- 32.7% below state average, 18.6% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 23.6%
--- #1,039 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.0%
--- #1,582 highest among all counties nationwide

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#12. Tulare County

- Median household income: $52,534
--- 33.2% below state average, 19.2% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 22.1%
--- #1,251 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.6%
--- #1,547 highest among all counties nationwide

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#11. Sierra County

- Median household income: $52,103
--- 33.8% below state average, 19.8% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 22.4%
--- #1,225 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.5%
--- #1,485 highest among all counties nationwide

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Trance addict // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Glenn County

- Median household income: $51,682
--- 34.3% below state average, 20.5% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 19.9%
--- #1,626 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.8%
--- #1,418 highest among all counties nationwide

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Scott Burley // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Modoc County

- Median household income: $51,250
--- 34.9% below state average, 21.1% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.3%
--- #2,606 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.9%
--- #1,357 highest among all counties nationwide

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EPoelzl // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Mariposa County

- Median household income: $50,960
--- 35.2% below state average, 21.6% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 18.2%
--- #1,933 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.7%
--- #1,312 highest among all counties nationwide

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#7. Del Norte County

- Median household income: $49,981
--- 36.5% below state average, 23.1% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 21.9%
--- #1,281 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.2%
--- #1,203 highest among all counties nationwide

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CFang // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Lake County

- Median household income: $49,254
--- 37.4% below state average, 24.2% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 21.5%
--- #1,352 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.8%
--- #1,126 highest among all counties nationwide

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Cory Maylett // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Humboldt County

- Median household income: $49,235
--- 37.4% below state average, 24.2% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 21.7%
--- #1,324 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.3%
--- #1,123 highest among all counties nationwide

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Frank Schulenburg // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Tehama County

- Median household income: $48,895
--- 37.8% below state average, 24.8% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 19.5%
--- #1,690 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.5%
--- #1,084 highest among all counties nationwide

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Chmee2 // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Siskiyou County

- Median household income: $47,403
--- 39.7% below state average, 27.1% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 18.3%
--- #1,902 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.5%
--- #948 highest among all counties nationwide

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Cbl62 // Wikicommons

#2. Imperial County

- Median household income: $46,222
--- 41.2% below state average, 28.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 19.4%
--- #1,721 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.1%
--- #835 highest among all counties nationwide

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Almonroth // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Trinity County

- Median household income: $41,780
--- 46.9% below state average, 35.7% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 15.1%
--- #2,482 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.1%
--- #469 highest among all counties nationwide

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