The 15 Richest Counties in New Jersey: Counting Down Opulence

In the realm of the Garden State, where prosperity and affluence intermingle with lush landscapes and urban sophistication, lies a diverse tapestry of counties. New Jersey, often overshadowed by its towering neighbor, New York, has its own trove of wealth, and this listicle will unveil the top 15 counties that stand as testaments to its prosperity. 

The criteria for ranking these counties is based on their median household income, a quintessential indicator of wealth. We’ll start our journey from the fifteenth spot, where the riches of Salem County beckon, and descend through the ranks to the numero uno, Hunterdon County, basking in opulence. Prepare to be amazed by the opulent enclaves of New Jersey!

15. Salem County: Where Tradition Meets Prosperity

Salem County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $59,441

Salem County, situated in the southern reaches of New Jersey, has a rich history that dates back to its foundation in 1694. Named after Salem, Massachusetts, this county has deep colonial roots. It played a crucial role during the American Revolutionary War, with its port town of Salem serving as an essential supply route for the Continental Army. Over the years, Salem County’s agrarian economy thrived, driven by fertile land and agricultural endeavors.

Economic Development:

  • Salem County’s economy was predominantly agricultural throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, with a focus on corn, wheat, and dairy farming.
  • The growth of manufacturing and chemical industries in the mid-20th century diversified the county’s economy.
  • In recent years, Salem County has made efforts to attract renewable energy projects, including wind and solar farms, contributing to its economic revitalization.

14. Ocean County: Coastal Elegance and Wealth

Ocean County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $59,620

Founded in 1850, Ocean County owes much of its early development to its coastal location along the Jersey Shore. Initially, it relied on fishing, shipping, and agriculture as its primary economic drivers. The late 19th century saw the rise of tourism, with visitors flocking to the pristine beaches and scenic landscapes. The opening of the Garden State Parkway in the 1950s further accelerated tourism and economic growth in the county.

Economic Development:

  • Tourism remains a significant contributor to Ocean County’s economy, with attractions like Seaside Heights and Long Beach Island drawing visitors.
  • The county has also seen growth in healthcare and education sectors, with institutions like Ocean County College and healthcare facilities playing crucial roles.
  • Recent efforts have focused on diversifying the economy beyond tourism, with investments in technology, research, and manufacturing industries.

13. Camden County: Urban Resurgence and Financial Flourish

Camden County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $60,976

Camden County, established in 1844, is intertwined with the city of Camden’s history. In the 19th century, it was a bustling industrial hub, with shipbuilding, manufacturing, and transportation driving its economy. However, deindustrialization hit Camden hard in the 20th century, leading to economic decline. In recent years, the city and county have seen a resurgence, driven by urban development initiatives.

Economic Development:

  • The decline of heavy industry gave way to a service-based economy, with healthcare, education, and government sectors becoming prominent.
  • Investments in waterfront development, including the Camden Waterfront and the BB&T Pavilion, have transformed the city into a cultural and entertainment hub.
  • Initiatives like the Grow New Jersey program have attracted businesses to Camden, contributing to its economic revitalization.

12. Union County: The Cultural and Financial Melting Pot

Union County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $66,791

Founded in 1857, Union County’s history is marked by its diverse population and economic vibrancy. The county’s early industries included silk manufacturing, and it was home to significant inventors like Thomas Edison. As the 20th century progressed, Union County evolved into a suburban haven, attracting commuters to New York City.

Economic Development:

  • The decline of manufacturing led to the emergence of the service sector, including finance, healthcare, and education, as key economic drivers.
  • The presence of major highways, proximity to Newark Liberty International Airport, and excellent transportation links have fostered business growth.
  • Union County remains a cultural center with attractions like the Union County Arts Center and the Paper Mill Playhouse.

11. Mercer County: Innovation and Academic Excellence

Mercer County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $71,217

Established in 1838, Mercer County has a rich history deeply intertwined with education and innovation. Princeton University, founded in 1746, is a beacon of academic excellence within the county. Throughout the 19th century, manufacturing and agriculture played pivotal roles in Mercer County’s economy.

Economic Development:

  • The presence of Princeton University has led to a focus on research, technology, and education as key economic drivers.
  • Mercer County is strategically located between New York City and Philadelphia, making it an attractive location for businesses.
  • The county’s growth in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries has further diversified its economy.

10. Warren County: Scenic Beauty and Financial Achievement

Warren County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $71,364

Established in 1824, Warren County’s history is characterized by its picturesque landscapes and agricultural heritage. The Delaware Water Gap, a natural wonder, has drawn visitors for generations. Agriculture, including dairy farming and apple orchards, has historically been a key economic activity.

Economic Development:

  • Tourism, particularly outdoor recreation, is a significant contributor to Warren County’s economy, with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area as a focal point.
  • The county has seen growth in the manufacturing and distribution sectors, leveraging its strategic location near major cities.
  • Efforts to preserve the county’s natural beauty and historic sites have contributed to its economic success.

9. Gloucester County: Suburban Serenity and Economic Success

Gloucester County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $72,664

Founded in 1686, Gloucester County has a deep-rooted history in agriculture and industry. In the 19th century, glass manufacturing was a prominent industry, earning the county the nickname “Glassboro.” Over time, the county transitioned to a more suburban character.

Economic Development:

  • Suburbanization and residential development have been significant drivers of Gloucester County’s economy, attracting families and businesses.
  • The county’s strategic location between Philadelphia and Atlantic City has fostered transportation and logistics businesses.
  • Investments in higher education, including Rowan University, have contributed to economic diversification.

8. Burlington County: A Balance of History and Prosperity

Burlington County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $76,258

Burlington County, established in 1681, is steeped in history, with towns like Burlington City dating back to the 17th century. The county’s early economy was built on agriculture and trade, thanks to its location along the Delaware River.

Economic Development:

  • The county has diversified its economy, with healthcare, education, and retail sectors playing crucial roles.
  • Fort Dix and McGuire Air Force Base have contributed to the defense industry’s presence in the area.
  • Burlington County’s historic sites and cultural attractions continue to draw visitors and enrich the local economy.

7. Middlesex County: Technology Hub and Economic Dynamo

Middlesex County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $77,615

Middlesex County, founded in 1683, has evolved significantly over the centuries. Early industries included milling, agriculture, and manufacturing. In the 20th century, it embraced technological advancements and saw rapid growth.

Economic Development:

  • Middlesex County is known as the “Innovation Hub of New Jersey” due to its concentration of technology companies and research institutions.
  • The presence of Rutgers University and Princeton University has fostered a culture of research and innovation.
  • The county’s location along major transportation routes, including the New Jersey Turnpike, has made it a logistics and distribution center.

6. Bergen County: Suburban Opulence and Urban Accessibility

Bergen County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $81,708

Established in 1683, Bergen County is one of the oldest in New Jersey. Its early economy was centered on agriculture and trade, thanks to its proximity to New York City.

Economic Development:

  • Bergen County’s afflu

ence is attributed to its proximity to New York City, attracting commuters and businesses seeking urban amenities.

  • The retail sector, with prominent malls like Paramus Park and Garden State Plaza, contributes significantly to the economy.
  • The county has a diverse economy, including healthcare, finance, and technology sectors.

5. Monmouth County: Coastal Elegance and High Income

Monmouth County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $82,265

Founded in 1683, Monmouth County boasts a rich history intertwined with its coastal location. Agriculture and shipping were early economic drivers, and the county played a role in the American Revolution.

Economic Development:

  • Tourism, particularly along the Jersey Shore, remains a cornerstone of Monmouth County’s economy.
  • The county has seen growth in finance, healthcare, and education sectors.
  • Investments in cultural attractions, such as the Count Basie Center for the Arts, enhance its appeal and economic vitality.

4. Sussex County: Rural Charm and Financial Prosperity

Sussex County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $83,089

Established in 1753, Sussex County’s history is characterized by its rural charm and natural beauty. Agriculture and mining were central to its early economy.

Economic Development:

  • The county continues to embrace its rural character while diversifying its economy with tourism, outdoor recreation, and retail.
  • The presence of resorts like Crystal Springs and Mountain Creek attracts visitors and drives economic growth.
  • Sussex County has leveraged its scenic landscapes for economic success, including the development of golf courses and wineries.

3. Morris County: Suburban Sophistication and Economic Might

Morris County - New Jersey

Median Household Income: $96,747

Founded in 1739, Morris County has a rich history steeped in colonial heritage and industry. Early industries included iron mining and manufacturing.

Economic Development:

  • Morris County has evolved into a suburban haven, attracting commuters to major cities like New York City.
  • The healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have become vital economic drivers.
  • The county’s historic sites and cultural institutions, such as Morristown National Historical Park, contribute to its appeal and economic vibrancy.

2. Somerset County: A Beacon of Prosperity and Prestige

 Somerset County

Median Household Income: $97,440

Established in 1688, Somerset County’s history reflects its agricultural roots. The fertile land was ideal for farming in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Economic Development:

  • Somerset County has transformed into a prosperous enclave with a strong focus on technology, pharmaceuticals, and finance.
  • The presence of major corporations and research facilities has bolstered the county’s economy.
  • Cultural attractions like the Grounds For Sculpture add to the county’s prestige and economic success.

1. Hunterdon County: The Epitome of Wealth and Luxury

Hunterdon County

Median Household Income: $100,980

Hunterdon County, established in 1714, stands as the epitome of wealth and luxury in New Jersey. The county’s early economy revolved around agriculture and milling.

Economic Development:

  • Hunterdon County’s affluence is driven by its upscale communities, high-end real estate, and thriving businesses.
  • The county has seen growth in healthcare, technology, and finance sectors.
  • Its picturesque landscapes, such as the Hunterdon County Arboretum, enhance its allure and economic prosperity.

These counties have evolved and adapted over the years, showcasing the resilience and diversity of New Jersey’s economic landscape. From their historical roots to their current economic prowess, they continue to shape the state’s prosperity and identity.



As we traverse the rich tapestry of New Jersey’s top 15 counties, we find a compelling narrative of history and economic transformation. From the colonial origins of Salem County to the modern technological hubs of Middlesex County, each county’s journey reflects the dynamic nature of the state’s economy. These counties have transitioned from agrarian roots to vibrant urban centers, from manufacturing powerhouses to hubs of innovation. New Jersey’s wealth isn’t confined to any one industry; it’s a symphony of diverse sectors, cultural heritage, and strategic advantages that have propelled it to the forefront of affluence in the United States.

New Jersey richest counties

The rankings, with Hunterdon County perched at the zenith, illustrate the state’s commitment to progress and prosperity. The median household income values, highlighted for each county, not only demonstrate their economic success but also underscore the pursuit of high living standards and the promise of opportunity for their residents. As we bid farewell to this exploration of New Jersey’s richest counties, we recognize that their stories are far from static. They continue to evolve, adapting to new challenges and opportunities, and we can only anticipate further growth and success for the Garden State’s finest.

In the end, these counties collectively embody the quintessential American dream, where hard work, innovation, and the preservation of heritage have converged to create a remarkable landscape of wealth and prosperity. Their stories inspire us to appreciate the resilience of communities, the power of education, and the rewards of embracing change. New Jersey’s richest counties stand not just as economic powerhouses but as testaments to the enduring spirit of growth and achievement that defines the American experience.

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