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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Hamilton County among nation's wealthiest

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Hamilton County - Indiana is home to one of the richest counties in the country. Some business and community leaders in Hamilton County say they're even a bit surprised by the ranking.

According to new census figures, Hunterdon, New Jersey is the nation's wealthiest county, with Hamilton County coming in seventh, edging out Marin County, California near San Francisco. Hamilton County's average household income is nearly $79,000. That's nearly twice the almost $42,000 median household income of neighboring Marion County.

"There's a couple of advantages. The schools are fantastic and statistics show that. There's also the newness of the construction and that's what people are looking for," said Tom Mattingly, real estate broker.

Fishers, Noblesville and Carmel schools consistently ranked high. Fishers also ranked as one of the best places to live in America, and it appears that schools, along with shopping, golf and other amenities, are luring monied families.

At the other side of the spectrum, more Indiana residents are living in poverty.

Eyewitness news partners at The Indianapolis Star report 740,000 Hoosiers struggle to make ends meet, a 13 percent increase from the previous census data.

The face of poverty isn't just the homeless man on the street corner, begging for money. It's someone like Drucilla Graham, a 55-year-old assistant pre-school teacher at Shepherd Community. She makes less than $13,000, which is considered the poverty line for one adult and one child.

"We live paycheck to paycheck. It's kind of hard because I'm the only one who brings in the money," said Graham.

Along with people like Graham, The Star reported there are more than 260,000 kids living in poverty. That's enough to fill the RCA Dome nearly five times.