Top 10 Richest Counties In California (2023)

California is located in the Western Region of the US. California is the most habited state with a population of over 39.9 million residents. The state’s capital is Sacramento. California boasts of a diverse, and robust economy. California boasts of a lively population deeply engraved in entertainment. 

When a place has per capita income exceeding that of the state, it can be classified as high income. The term high income can easily be used for the richest counties in California having income higher than the state average. 

The median county and place in California have an income of roughly $25,000 which is almost equal to that of the state that is about $30,000. More counties with the highest per capita income were found in the San Francisco Bay Area, while those with the lowest per capita income were found in the Central Valley. 

Richest Counties In California

1. Santa Clara County- $124,055

Santa Clara County is the 1st richest county in California and the 6th most populous county. According to the 2020 census, California had a population of 1,936,259. Santa Clara claims the most populous county in Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.

San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara. Santa Clara boasts of the third-highest GDP per capita in the world and high technology. The tech industry is the county’s primary source of wealth, hence, making it one of the most affluent places in the US, and one of the most affluent counties.

Santa Clara was established in 1850, and most of its population can be found within the southern coast of San Francisco Bay. The county was promoted for its natural beauty as ‘’Valley of the Heart’s Delight’’. 

Known as a hub for technology, Santa Clara has approximately 6500 technology companies and this is with the inclusion of very large tech companies, the likes of Cisco Systems and Intel, eBay, Yahoo, Google, Nvidia, etc. 

2. San Mateo County- $122,641

San Mateo is part of Silicon Valley, San Francisco Oakland Berkeley, and the CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The county has an international airport located at its northern end. 

San Mateo was established in 1856 after the division of San Francisco county. San Mateo covers most of the San Francisco Peninsula and has most of its area as suburban and few urban.

The name San Mateo was first established as Saint Matthew, a Spanish name before it appeared as San Matheo. In the early days, San Mateo was known with some geographical features including a large land holding, an arroyo, a settlement, and a headland sticking out into the pacific. 

3. Marin County- $115,246

Marin County can be found in the Northwestern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. Marin County is among the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, Ca MSA. Marin’s county seat is San Rafael. 

The county can boast of numerous high-tech companies. Some natural sites that can be found in the county include Stinson Beach, Muir Woods Redwood Forest, Marin Headlands, Mount Tamalpais, and Point Reyes National Seashore. 

Marin was named after General Mariano Vallejo, the great chief who headed a committee to name the counties in California. 

4. San Francisco County- $112,449

San Francisco county is located in Northern California. The county is the financial, cultural, and commercial center in the US. San Francisco is the fourth most populous county in California and the seventeenth most populous in the US. 

San Francisco has some colloquial names which include The City, SF, Frisco, and San Fran. According to the Global Financial Centres in March, San Francisco was ranked second and twelfth in the world. 

San Francisco is a known tourist destination known for its landmarks, fog, cool summers, exquisite architecture, and steep rolling hills. It is also a known headquarter of companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Salesforce, Square, Uber, Levi Strauss & Co., Pacific Gas, and Electric Company, and Lyft. 

5. Contra Costa County- $99,716

Contra Costa County is ranked the fifth richest county in CA. The county is a suburban area occupying the northern portion of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. Martinez is the county’s seat. 

Contra Costa is a Spanish word that means ‘’Opposite Coast’’. Its name was derived from its position on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. 

6. Alameda County- $99,406

Alameda County occupies most of the East Bay region in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is the seventh most populous county in the world and the sixth wealthiest county in California. Oakland is the county seat for Alameda. 

Alameda is a Spanish word that either means ‘’a tree-lined street or a grove of poplars’’. The name was derived from trees lining the banks of the river. The county was founded in 1853. 

7. Orange County- $90,234

Orange County is a densely populated suburban county in California. The three most populous cities in Orange County are Irvine, Anaheim, and Santa Ana. The county seat is also Santa Ana. 

Six cities from Orange County can be found on the Pacific coast and they include; Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, Huntington Beach, and Dana Point. 

Orange County has several tourist centers the likes of Modjeska House, Yost Theater, Disneyland, Balboa Island, Downtown Santa Ana, Bowers Museum, and several other popular attraction centers. 

8. Placer County- $89,691

The name, Placer was derived from a Spanish word and it means ‘’sand deposit containing gold’’. Placer County belongs to the Greater Sacramento Metropolitan Area. Placer’s county seat is Auburn.

Placer County is located between the Sierra Nevada and Sacramento Valley. The discovery of gold brought the county to the limelight in 1848. 

9. Napa County- $88,596

Napa County was founded in 1850 in the northern portion of California. Napa County includes the Napa and CA MSA. Napa’s county seat is the City of Napa. 

Napa County is known for its wines. It has risen to the first rank of wine regions. 

10. Ventura County- $88,131

Ventura County is located in the southern part of California. The county includes the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California MSA. The largest city of the county is Oxnard. 

Names of places in Ventura County emanated from Chumash. Ventura is divided into the East and West County by the Conejo Grade. 



In this present time, there are odd realities like wearing designer clothing on dogs. People do not mind spending huge amounts on services that are not worth it. It is no news that you might find this type of spending in some of the richest counties in California. 

The typical household in California rakes in about $100,000, hence, their spending can be justified.