Perhaps the best way to give yourself a raise is to move to another county.
While Atlanta may be one of the best places to work from home, a recent study from SmartAsset indicates living in Fulton and DeKalb counties won’t help you become wealthy.
The personal finance technology company unveiled a list of the Georgia counties with the highest median incomes and the majority of the spots that made the list are outside of the metro area.
“Our study aims to find the places where average living expenses are most affordable to the people who live there. To find these places, we looked at the cost of living relative to income to determine the purchasing power in each county,” the methodology reads.
Initially, two cost of living metrics were calculated for a home with one adult and no dependents. One metric showed the baseline cost of living in each place. The other was based on common expenses for someone earning the median income of the county.
“We combined these two numbers using a weighted average based on how close each county’s median income was to the minimum livable income in that area. We then subtracted income taxes paid in that area,” the website said. “Finally, we calculated purchasing power by determining the weighted cost of living as a percentage of median income. The top locations were those with the highest median income relative to the cost of living.”
The list of the counties that have the highest median incomes are as follows.
1. Forsyth County - $96,445
2. Fayette County - $84,861
3. Oconee County - $77,388
4. Cherokee County - $75,477
5. Columbia County - $74,162
6. Cobb County - $72,004
7. Harris County - $69,539
8. Bryan County - $68,589
9. Coweta County - $67,570
10. Lee County - $65,018
Forsyth sits at the top statewide and ranks No. 23 nationally for the highest median income. The cost of living is $52,533 compared to $35,319 for the state. Forsyth’s median income of $96,445 is also about $10,000 shy of being double that of Georgia’s, which is $52,977.
This isn’t the first time Forsyth has nabbed the top spot for being the richest county in the state. In January, financial news and opinion website 24/7 Wall Street placed the north Atlanta county at No. 1. The ranking came from the county having a median household income of $101,743 at the time along with an unemployment rate that fell under Georgia’s average and a high percentage of bachelor’s degree-holding adult residents.
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Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution