These 25 US counties are paying most of the federal income taxes

John Moore/Getty ImagesManhattan, New York.
  • 25 counties in the United States paid more than a quarter of the total income tax collected in 2016, according to IRS data.
  • Los Angeles County alone, with a population of over 10 million, paid 3.67% of all income tax liability in 2016.
  • New York County, which covers Manhattan, has a population of about 1.6 million, but it ranked second among counties, paying 2.7% of all US income taxes.

There are a total of 3,141 counties in the United States, according to USGS. The top 25 of those counties – less than 1% – paid 28.85% of all income taxes in 2016.

To some extent, the data show the concentration of population in large cities. Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago (Cook County), the three most populous cities in the US, are in the three counties that contributed the most.

But the numbers also illustrate the concentration of wealth in America. A review of census data shows that these 25 counties represent only 9% of the total US population of 328 million.

New York County, which covers just the borough of Manhattan, is home to 0.5% of the US population but it pays 2.7% of US income taxes. The five Bay Area counties pay a combined 5% of US taxes but are home to less than 2% of the population, due in no small part to the millionaires(and billionaires) paying income taxes in Silicon Valley.

Here are the 25 counties that had the highest income tax liabilities in 2016.


25. Montgomery County, Maryland

ShutterstockBethesda, Maryland.

Total income tax liability: $US10,157,908,000

Percentage of total: 0.67%


24. Oakland County, Michigan

Getty ImagesBloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Total income tax liability: $US10,295,603,000

Percentage of total: 0.68%


23. Contra Costa County, California

ShutterstockConcord, California.

Total income tax liability: $US10,339,953,000

Percentage of total: 0.68%


22. Kings County, New York

Shutterstock/Andriy BlokhinBrooklyn, New York.

Total income tax liability: $US10,749,305,000

Percentage of total: 0.71%


21. Suffolk County, New York

mervas/ShutterstockMontauk, New York.

Total income tax liability: $US11,115,950,000

Percentage of total: 0.73%


20. Miami-Dade County, Florida

Total income tax liability: $US11,190,810,000

Percentage of total: 0.74%


19. Fairfax County, Virginia

ShutterstockHerndon, Virginia.

Total income tax liability: $US11,623,937,000

Percentage of total: 0.77%


18. Palm Beach County, Florida

GagliardiImages/ShutterstockWest Palm Beach, Florida.

Total income tax liability: $US12,042,396,000

Percentage of total: 0.79%


17. Alameda County, California

cdrin/shutterstockOakland, California.

Total income tax liability: $US12,204,862,000

Percentage of total: 0.80%


16. San Mateo County, California

ShutterstockSan Mateo, California.

Total income tax liability: $US12,376,364,000

Percentage of total: 0.82%


15. San Francisco County, California

canadastock/ShutterstockSan Francisco, California.

Total income tax liability: $US13,805,574,000

Percentage of total: 0.91%


14. Dallas County, TX

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockDallas, Texas.

Total income tax liability: $US14,667,751,000

Percentage of total: 0.97%


13. Westchester County, NY

John Arehart/ShutterstockYonkers, New York.

Total income tax liability: $US15,061,953,000

Percentage of total: 0.99%


12. Fairfield County, Connecticut

John9474/Flickr Creative CommonsStamford, Connecticut.

Total income tax liability: $US15,227,839,000

Percentage of total: 1.00%


11. Nassau County, New York

James Parascandola/ShutterstockJones Beach State Park, New York.

Total income tax liability: $US15,375,144,000

Percentage of total: 1.01%


10. Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Jon Bilous/ShutterstockCambridge, Massachusetts.

Total income tax liability: $US16,704,904,000

Percentage of total: 1.10%


9. San Diego County, California

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockSan Diego, California.

Total income tax liability: $US17,274,830,000

Percentage of total: 1.14%


8. Maricopa County, Arizona

ShutterstockPhoenix, Arizona.

Total income tax liability: $US17,987,889,000

Percentage of total: 1.18%


7. Harris County, Texas

Nate Hovee/ShutterstockHouston, Texas.

Total income tax liability: $US20,663,622,000

Percentage of total: 1.36%


6. Orange County, California

NAPA/ShutterstockAnaheim, California.

Total income tax liability: $US21,931,444,000

Percentage of total: 1.44%


5. King County, Washington

Total income tax liability: $US22,879,220,000

Percentage of total: 1.51%


4. Santa Clara County, California

Getty/Justin SullivanSan Jose, California.

Total income tax liability: $US27,180,499,000

Percentage of total: 1.79%


3. Cook County, Illinois

Maria Sbytova/ShutterstockChicago, Illinois.

Total income tax liability: $US31,008,352,000

Percentage of total: 2.04%


2. New York County, New York

Shutterstock/Massimo Salesi

Total income tax liability: $US40,960,806,000

Percentage of total: 2.70%


1. Los Angeles County, California

Sean Pavone/shutterstock

Total income tax liability: $US55,677,867,000

Percentage of total: 3.67%

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