Skip to main content

How much do you need to earn to be in Minnesota’s top 1 percent?

New analysis has revealed how much the 1 percent earn in each Minnesota county.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

Income inequality is among the issues being discussed during the presidential campaign, and new research has mapped out the disparity in each American county.

The Economic Policy Institute has used household income data to determine how much money America’s “1 percent” actually make, and has broken it down not only by state, but also by individual county.

The average income of American 1-percenters was $1,153,293, the study found, but the figure varied wildly from state to state.

The biggest disparities

Each county is ranked by the institute based on where the income gap is the most unequal – the disparity between the income of a 1-percenter and the remaining 99 percent of earners. The biggest gap is in Teton, Wyoming, where the 1 percent earns over $28 million a year, and the bottom 99 percent earn (a still healthy) $120,884, on average.

The highest Minnesota county on the list is Roseau County, in the northern part of the state on the Canadian border, which is 63rd nationally. There, the 1 percent earn $1.409 million – 33.3 times more than the $42,369 average earned by people in the rest of the county.

The county with the smallest disparity is Carlton County, where the 1 percent earns $317,774, 7.8 times more than the $40,936 earned by the rest.

The easiest place to be in the 1 percent of earners is in Pine County, where an annual income of $285,679 makes you a member of the bourgeoisie. That’s 8.8 times more than the $32,405 earned on average by the rest of residents.

And the highest threshold to be a 1-percenter is in Hennepin County, where the highest earners average $1.715 million.

Counties with the biggest gap between 1% and the 99%

  1. Roseau (63rd nationally): 1% earns $1.409 million; rest earns $42,369. 1% earns 33.3 times more.
  2. Clearwater (114th): 1% earns $929,500; rest earns $33,412. 1% earns 27.8 times more.
  3. Hennepin (118th): 1% earns $1.715 million; rest earns $62,200. 1% earns 27.6 times more.
  4. Stearns (272nd): 1% earns $971,352; rest earns $44,285. 1% earns 21.9 times more.
  5. Ramsey (414th): 1% earns $961,301; rest earns $48,698. 1% earns 19.7 times more.

Counties with the smallest gap

  1. Carlton (2987th nationally): 1% earns $317,774; rest earns $40,936. 1% earns 7.8 times more.
  2. Red Lake (2914th): 1% earns $330,283; rest earns $39,616. 1% earns 8.3 times more.
  3. Pine (2826nd): 1% earns $285,679; rest earns $32,405. 1% earns 8.8 times more.
  4. Waseca (2822nd): 1% earns $369,690; rest earns $41,866. 1% earns 8.8 times more.
  5. Yellow Medicine (2762nd): 1% earns $395,824; $43,304. 1% earns 9.1 times more.

Next Up

Train Days

Historic locomotives to roll into St. Paul for Train Days

The festival at the Union Depot returns June 4-5.

Dalton tornado

Tornadoes, large hail, damaging wind possible in Sunday/Monday storms

The Twin Cities is among the areas that could get hit.

Redtail Ridge Elementary

Sunbather on the roof triggers shelter-in-place at Savage elementary school

The sunbather told police he was trying to "tan and relax."


The Raptor Center's ambassador, Nero the turkey vulture, dies at 47

Nero helped save the California condors before taking up his post as an education ambassador.

Ben Leber

Ben Leber named new permanent co-host of 'Twin Cities Live'

The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was introduced Friday afternoon.


APM Reports, maker of 'In the Dark' podcast, nixed by Minnesota Public Radio

MPR said "select programming elements" of APM Reports will be incorporated into MPR News.

storm, severe

The latest on holiday weekend severe weather chances for MN

The most significant severe threats are Sunday night and again on Monday.

Arianna Vos

Charges: Driver was drunk, high in head-on crash that killed 19-year-old woman

The young woman killed in the crash was a college student studying zoology.


How much do you need to rent a 2-bedroom home in Minnesota?

Hint, it's more than the $15-an-hour minimum wage Minneapolis is discussing.

Yep, health plans you buy on your own or through MNsure are more expensive

Earlier this month, we told you health plans you buy on your own or through MNsure might get a lot pricier. That is not longer a "might."

The Tip Jar: Dining out? Here's when and how much you should tip

Tipping can be a minefield – let us help you satisfy social conventions.

The Tip Jar: How much money can you save giving up your car commute?

We had a race – car vs. bike vs. bus – to see whether it's worth your time giving up your car.

Who earns the minimum wage in Minnesota?

4 findings about the nearly 250,000 Minnesotans who don't make more than $9.50 an hour.

How much can you save by making your coffee at home instead of buying from a chain?

I found it surprisingly easy – and far cheaper than Starbucks and Caribou.