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

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Manhattan, New York. John Moore/Getty Images
  • 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

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Bethesda, Maryland. Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.67%


24. Oakland County, Michigan

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Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Getty Images

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

Percentage of total: 0.68%


23. Contra Costa County, California

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Concord, California. Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.68%


22. Kings County, New York

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Brooklyn, New York. Shutterstock/Andriy Blokhin

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

Percentage of total: 0.71%


21. Suffolk County, New York

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Montauk, New York. mervas/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.73%


20. Miami-Dade County, Florida

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Miami, Florida. Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.74%


19. Fairfax County, Virginia

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Herndon, Virginia. Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.77%


18. Palm Beach County, Florida

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West Palm Beach, Florida. GagliardiImages/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.79%


17. Alameda County, California

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Oakland, California. cdrin/shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.80%


16. San Mateo County, California

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San Mateo, California. Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.82%


15. San Francisco County, California

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San Francisco, California. canadastock/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.91%


14. Dallas County, TX

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Dallas, Texas. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.97%


13. Westchester County, NY

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Yonkers, New York. John Arehart/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 0.99%


12. Fairfield County, Connecticut

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Stamford, Connecticut. John9474/Flickr Creative Commons

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

Percentage of total: 1.00%


11. Nassau County, New York

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Jones Beach State Park, New York. James Parascandola/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 1.01%


10. Middlesex County, Massachusetts

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Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 1.10%


9. San Diego County, California

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San Diego, California. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 1.14%


8. Maricopa County, Arizona

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Phoenix, Arizona. Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 1.18%


7. Harris County, Texas

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Houston, Texas. Nate Hovee/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 1.36%


6. Orange County, California

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Anaheim, California. NAPA/Shutterstock

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

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San Jose, California. Getty/Justin Sullivan

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

Percentage of total: 1.79%


3. Cook County, Illinois

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Chicago, Illinois. Maria Sbytova/Shutterstock

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

Percentage of total: 2.04%


2. New York County, New York

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

Percentage of total: 2.70%


1. Los Angeles County, California

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

Percentage of total: 3.67%