Lowest-earning counties in California

Written by:
August 15, 2021
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. As the economy makes its comeback, things are still a far cry from the way they were in 2019.

One marker that has sped far past its 2019 position is that of income inequality in the United States. Low-wage industries were decimated by the pandemic, leaving millions without work or in positions they were overqualified for. Meanwhile, nearly one in five households across the United States earn less than $25,000 a year, while more than 6% have an annual income that falls below $10,000.

Where you live can make a big impact on your financial situation. 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’ 2019 5-year estimate median household income. Keep reading to see where people in your state are making the least.

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Stan Shebs // Wikicommons

#50. Napa County

- Median household income: $88,596
--- 17.8% above state median, 41.0% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 44.5%
--- #77 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 6.3%
--- #2,909 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#49. Ventura County

- Median household income: $88,131
--- 17.1% above state median, 40.2% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 43.9%
--- #83 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 5.7%
--- #2,978 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Michael Patrick // Wikimedia Commons

#48. San Benito County

- Median household income: $86,958
--- 15.6% above state median, 38.4% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 43.7%
--- #86 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 4.3%
--- #3,098 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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DimiTalen // Wikimedia Commons

#47. El Dorado County

- Median household income: $83,377
--- 10.8% above state median, 32.7% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 41.9%
--- #110 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 7.4%
--- #2,717 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Aaronbrick // Wikicommons

#46. Santa Cruz County

- Median household income: $82,234
--- 9.3% above state median, 30.9% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 41.9%
--- #110 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.7%
--- #2,395 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#45. Solano County

- Median household income: $81,472
--- 8.3% above state median, 29.6% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 39.3%
--- #161 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 6.9%
--- #2,803 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Fred Hsu // Wikicommons

#44. Sonoma County

- Median household income: $81,018
--- 7.7% above state median, 28.9% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 39.6%
--- #150 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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SD Dirk // Flickr

#43. San Diego County

- Median household income: $78,980
--- 5.0% above state median, 25.7% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 39.1%
--- #166 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 7.6%
--- #2,677 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Pixabay

#42. Santa Barbara County

- Median household income: $74,624
--- 0.8% below state median, 18.7% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 37.2%
--- #198 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.1%
--- #2,551 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Basar // Wikicommons

#41. San Luis Obispo County

- Median household income: $73,518
--- 2.3% below state median, 17.0% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 35.8%
--- #226 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.8%
--- #2,374 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Naotake Murayama // Wikicommons

#40. Monterey County

- Median household income: $71,015
--- 5.6% below state median, 13.0% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 33.1%
--- #291 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 6.5%
--- #2,883 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Epolk // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Yolo County

- Median household income: $70,228
--- 6.7% below state median, 11.8% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 34.8%
--- #249 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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BDS2006 // Wikimedia

#38. Los Angeles County

- Median household income: $68,044
--- 9.6% below state median, 8.3% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 33.8%
--- #276 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 10.4%
--- #1,946 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#37. Sacramento County

- Median household income: $67,151
--- 10.7% below state median, 6.9% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 32.0%
--- #333 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.7%
--- #2,126 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Daniel Orth // Flickr

#36. Riverside County

- Median household income: $67,005
--- 10.9% below state median, 6.6% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 31.9%
--- #338 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.3%
--- #2,263 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Frank Schulenburg // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Nevada County

- Median household income: $66,096
--- 12.1% below state median, 5.2% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 31.8%
--- #340 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.3%
--- #2,263 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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LPS.1 // Wikicommons

#34. San Joaquin County

- Median household income: $64,432
--- 14.4% below state median, 2.5% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 30.4%
--- #393 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.3%
--- #2,263 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Susan Popielaski // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Alpine County

- Median household income: $63,750
--- 15.3% below state median, 1.4% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 35.7%
--- #229 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.5%
--- #2,455 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#32. San Bernardino County

- Median household income: $63,362
--- 15.8% below state median, 0.8% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 28.5%
--- #482 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.6%
--- #2,175 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#31. Calaveras County

- Median household income: $63,158
--- 16.1% below state median, 0.5% above national median
- Households earning over $100k: 27.4%
--- #554 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 6.9%
--- #2,803 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Amador County

- Median household income: $62,772
--- 16.6% below state median, 0.1% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 26.6%
--- #621 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.6%
--- #2,439 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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clr_flickr from Rocklin, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Mono County

- Median household income: $62,260
--- 17.2% below state median, 0.9% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 22.0%
--- #1,097 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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#28. Stanislaus County

- Median household income: $60,704
--- 19.3% below state median, 3.4% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 27.0%
--- #585 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.2%
--- #2,291 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Tuolumne County

- Median household income: $60,108
--- 20.1% below state median, 4.4% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 27.2%
--- #568 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.1%
--- #1,442 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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CleanWater17 // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Colusa County

- Median household income: $59,401
--- 21.0% below state median, 5.5% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 21.9%
--- #1,115 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.6%
--- #2,167 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Ray Bouknight // Wikicommons

#25. Sutter County

- Median household income: $59,050
--- 21.5% below state median, 6.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 26.8%
--- #597 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.7%
--- #2,126 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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

#24. Yuba County

- Median household income: $58,054
--- 22.8% below state median, 7.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 26.2%
--- #645 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.2%
--- #1,672 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Armona // Wikicommons

#23. Kings County

- Median household income: $57,848
--- 23.1% below state median, 7.9% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 22.6%
--- #1,017 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.7%
--- #2,126 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#22. Madera County

- Median household income: $57,585
--- 23.5% below state median, 8.4% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 24.4%
--- #802 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 10.8%
--- #1,811 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Chuck Abbe // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Inyo County

- Median household income: $57,316
--- 23.8% below state median, 8.8% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 22.2%
--- #1,074 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 8.4%
--- #2,498 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Lassen County

- Median household income: $56,352
--- 25.1% below state median, 10.3% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 23.9%
--- #846 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 9.2%
--- #2,291 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Kenneth Green // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Plumas County

- Median household income: $55,359
--- 26.4% below state median, 11.9% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 23.5%
--- #887 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.7%
--- #1,264 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Doug Kerr // Wikicommons

#18. Shasta County

- Median household income: $54,667
--- 27.3% below state median, 13.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 22.9%
--- #973 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.3%
--- #1,369 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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David Jordan // Wikicommons

#17. Fresno County

- Median household income: $53,969
--- 28.3% below state median, 14.1% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 24.0%
--- #829 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.7%
--- #1,264 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Mark Miller // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Merced County

- Median household income: $53,672
--- 28.7% below state median, 14.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 21.6%
--- #1,148 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.0%
--- #1,462 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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nickchapman // Wikicommons

#15. Kern County

- Median household income: $53,350
--- 29.1% below state median, 15.1% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 23.8%
--- #862 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.0%
--- #1,462 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#14. Butte County

- Median household income: $52,537
--- 30.2% below state median, 16.4% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 23.6%
--- #873 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.6%
--- #1,064 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#13. Sierra County

- Median household income: $52,148
--- 30.7% below state median, 17.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 25.8%
--- #672 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.4%
--- #1,112 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Binksternet // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Mendocino County

- Median household income: $51,416
--- 31.7% below state median, 18.2% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 21.1%
--- #1,225 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.8%
--- #1,244 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#11. Tulare County

- Median household income: $49,687
--- 34.0% below state median, 20.9% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 20.9%
--- #1,263 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.8%
--- #1,244 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Trance addict // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Glenn County

- Median household income: $49,633
--- 34.0% below state median, 21.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 18.6%
--- #1,645 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.5%
--- #709 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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EPoelzl // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Mariposa County

- Median household income: $48,820
--- 35.1% below state median, 22.3% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 17.4%
--- #1,883 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.1%
--- #1,442 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Cory Maylett // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Humboldt County

- Median household income: $48,041
--- 36.1% below state median, 23.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 19.7%
--- #1,434 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.1%
--- #772 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Cbl62 // Wikicommons

#7. Imperial County

- Median household income: $47,622
--- 36.7% below state median, 24.2% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 20.0%
--- #1,389 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 17.1%
--- #521 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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CFang // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Lake County

- Median household income: $47,040
--- 37.5% below state median, 25.1% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 18.6%
--- #1,625 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.0%
--- #786 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Scott Burley // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Modoc County

- Median household income: $45,507
--- 39.5% below state median, 27.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 13.5%
--- #2,570 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.5%
--- #1,588 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#4. Del Norte County

- Median household income: $45,283
--- 39.8% below state median, 27.9% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 17.9%
--- #1,783 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.0%
--- #786 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Chmee2 // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Siskiyou County

- Median household income: $45,241
--- 39.9% below state median, 28.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 17.2%
--- #1,919 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.6%
--- #871 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Frank Schulenburg // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Tehama County

- Median household income: $44,514
--- 40.8% below state median, 29.2% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 17.1%
--- #1,946 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.3%
--- #1,126 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Almonroth // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Trinity County

- Median household income: $40,846
--- 45.7% below state median, 35.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 13.7%
--- #2,543 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 17.1%
--- #521 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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