Richest Counties in Missouri (2024)

by Kristen Carney Kristen Carney

Updated: June 20, 2024

Richest County in Missouri

The richest county in Missouri is St. Charles County with an average household income of $122,330 as of 2022 and 416,659 people as of 2023 according to the most current Census data available (citation).

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20 Richest Counties in Missouri

Rank County Population Average Income Median Income
1 St. Charles County 416,659 $122,330 $99,596
2 Platte County 111,940 $117,776 $92,543
3 St. Louis County 987,059 $116,738 $78,067
4 Clay County 259,772 $100,619 $82,264
5 Cass County 111,732 $99,261 $82,473
6 Osage County 13,468 $96,390 $70,313
7 Christian County 94,422 $94,137 $75,787
8 Warren County 37,806 $93,875 $75,531
9 Jefferson County 231,230 $92,016 $77,217
10 Lincoln County 64,699 $91,821 $82,543
11 Boone County 189,463 $91,044 $66,564
12 Franklin County 106,404 $89,064 $70,111
13 Lafayette County 33,196 $88,775 $78,397
14 Ray County 23,182 $87,696 $69,779
15 Cole County 77,278 $87,298 $70,667
16 Jackson County 718,560 $86,997 $65,169
17 Camden County 44,044 $86,262 $59,834
18 Newton County 60,677 $85,809 $60,313
19 Callaway County 44,731 $84,960 $70,599
20 Ste. Genevieve County 18,642 $83,592 $61,215

Median Income versus Average Income: Which Should You Use?

We usually suggest using median income data – either instead of or in addition to – average income data as a true indicator of wealth. If you haven’t thought about median versus average since your last standardized test, you aren’t alone. Here’s what they are:

  • average is the sum of a set of numbers divided by the count of numbers in the set
  • median is the middle number in the set of numbers
illustation of median vs average

Now let’s say you had the following simplified set of income data.

Household 1: $30,000
Household 2: $50,000
Household 3: $1,000,000

The average income for this set is $360,000. The outlier data point ($1,000,000) skews the average WAY up. Conversely, the average income would be skewed WAY down if someone had an income of $500. The median income for the same data set is $50,000. Outlier data doesn’t skew the median.

Most Business Owners Should Use Median Income

So most business owners should use the median income as a true indicator of wealth, because it provides a more accurate representation of a typical income, especially in areas with significant income disparity.

When Should You Use Average Income

If your target market is high-income households, the average income may be more relevant. This is because the average income can highlight the presence of a higher concentration of wealthy individuals, which is beneficial for luxury goods and services marketing. We’re using average income on this page because using the Census’s highest reported median value of $250,001 could result in multiple ties for the richest geography.

Why do so many cities have a median value of $250,001?

The Census' American Community Survey uses $250,000+ as a jam value for median income estimates to protect privacy, ensure data consistency, and simplify reporting. A "jam value" in survey data refers to a placeholder or default value used when actual data points are unavailable, incomplete, or exceed certain thresholds. We represent this jam value as $250,001 to make it easy for you to sort.

SOURCES

United States Census Bureau. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2023. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. Web. May 2024. http://www.census.gov/.

United States Census Bureau. B01001 SEX BY AGE, 2022 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office. Web. 7 December 2023. http://www.census.gov/.

United States Census Bureau. B19013 Median Household Income, 2022 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office. Web. 7 December 2023. http://www.census.gov/.

United States Census Bureau. “DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS.” 2022 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office. Web. 07 December 2023. http://www.census.gov/.

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