MONROE — Union County ranks second in the state (out of 100 counties) in median household income, according to a study released last month by

Union County’s median household income of $80,033 per year trails only Wake County ($80,591), which is the largest county in N.C. based on population (1.13 million), per

Union County’s median income is 46.6% higher than the state’s average, and 27.4% higher than the national average, according to; Union County’s median income ranks 163rd in the nation.

Nearly 40% of Union County’s households (39.2) have an annual income of $100,000 or more.

Orange County ranks a distant third in annual median income in the stat at $71,723, followed by Currituck County ($69,964), Cabarrus ($67,328), Chatham ($67,031), Mecklenburg ($66,641), Camden ($64,572), Durham ($60,958) and Iredell ($60,955).

Stacker’s study of the highest-earning counties in N.C. used data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In addition to having the second-highest average income in the state, Union County has the lowest poverty rate of any county in N.C., according to a report by

Union County’s poverty rate is at 7%, which is half of the state’s average (14%). Dare County and Camden County are tied for second at 8.3%, Wake County is fourth (8.4%) and Cabarrus is fifth (9%).

The poverty rate in Mecklenburg is 11.7%, which ranks 16th in the state.

Bladen County has the highest poverty rate in the state at 29.1%.

According to, the Census Bureau measures poverty by using “a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. If a family’s total income is less than the family’s threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty. The official poverty thresholds do not vary geographically, but they are updated for inflation using Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). The official poverty definition uses money income before taxes and does not include capital gains or non-cash benefits.”

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