We all have our pre-conceived notions. Growing up in Ulster County, I felt like we were the shoeless hillbilly cousins going to visit our fancy relatives every time I crossed the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge into Dutchess County. I even expected them to be surprised when I showed up in a car and not on horseback. So to say I was surprised when I found out the wealth rankings of our Hudson Valley counties is an understatement.

There are 62 counties in New York, and nearly every one of them in the Hudson Valley are in the top 50% in terms of wealth. In fact, there's only one that's below:

Resort World is one of the attractions meant to lift Sullivan County higher on this list (photo: rwcatskills.com)
Resort World is one of the attractions meant to lift Sullivan County higher on this list (photo: rwcatskills.com)
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Sullivan County

According to Stacker, the median household in Sullivan County brings in just over $57,000 per year, making it the 33rd richest county in the state, but the poorest county in the Hudson Valley. You'd think having fancy town names like Monticello and Livingston Manner would help up their status... guess not. Newer additions, like Resort World Casino, are likely meant to help raise that number.

Houses like THIS still seem to be the exception in Ulster county (Photo Courtesy of Win Morrison Realty)
Houses like THIS still seem to be the exception in Ulster county (Photo Courtesy of Win Morrison Realty)
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Ulster County

My home county of Ulster is right near the bottom of the list. While it ranks considerably higher than Sullivan in terms of New York state rankings (17th on the list), it is the second-poorest county in the Hudson Valley, with a median family income of $64,300.

Columbia County
Google maps
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Columbia County

Honestly, I've spent hardly any time in Columbia county, but towns like Germantown and Hudson put this area quite high on the New York state list. It is the 13th richest county in the state and almost smack in the middle of the Hudson Valley list, with a median family income of $66,700.

This list is all about money but this is free. Well, almost. Access to Chadwick Lake is only $20/year for Newburgh residents (photo: Jonah)
This list is all about money but this is free. Well, almost. Access to Chadwick Lake is only $20/year for Newburgh residents (photo: Jonah)
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Orange County

With a median family income of nearly $80,000, Orange county is the 10th wealthiest in the state, and near the top of the list in the Hudson Valley. Based on some of the houses I drive past on the way to work, it's no surprise. Rural and fancy: get yourself a county that can do both.

Dutchess county is home to some rich people and even richer views (photo: Jonah)
Dutchess county is home to some rich people and even richer views (photo: Jonah)
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Dutchess County

And look who we have here... I was surprised to find out that while it's the 9th wealthiest county in New York state, Dutchess is not the richest Hudson Valley county. A $81,000 median income for families only puts it 3rd on the local list.

Tappan Zee Bridge under construction on a clear day
Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Rockland county

Let's be clear: Rockland county is lucky to be included on this list. While I prefer to stick to the MID-Hudson Valley, since you can still catch WRRV in Harriman, they get a pass. Rockland is the 5th wealthiest county in the state, and 2nd-wealthiest in the Hudson Valley, with a median family income of $93,000.

Putnam County Golf Course
Putnam County Golf Course
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 Putnam County

This was my biggest surprise. Not only was Putnam county listed as the 2nd-wealthiest county in the state, it's also the flushest in the Hudson Valley. The average family income is over $104,000, meaning if you need to decide who to ask to borrow money from, check out their address first.

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