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

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Midtown Manhattan top of the rock view skyline touristJohn 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.

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25. Montgomery County, Maryland

25. Montgomery County, Maryland

Total income tax liability: $10,157,908,000

Percentage of total: 0.67%

24. Oakland County, Michigan

24. Oakland County, Michigan

Total income tax liability: $10,295,603,000

Percentage of total: 0.68%

23. Contra Costa County, California

23. Contra Costa County, California

Total income tax liability: $10,339,953,000

Percentage of total: 0.68%

22. Kings County, New York

22. Kings County, New York

Total income tax liability: $10,749,305,000

Percentage of total: 0.71%

21. Suffolk County, NY

21. Suffolk County, NY

Total income tax liability: $11,115,950,000

Percentage of total: 0.73%

20. Miami-Dade County, Florida

20. Miami-Dade County, Florida

Total income tax liability: $11,190,810,000

Percentage of total: 0.74%

19. Fairfax County, Virginia

19. Fairfax County, Virginia

Total income tax liability: $11,623,937,000

Percentage of total: 0.77%

18. Palm Beach County, Florida

18. Palm Beach County, Florida

Total income tax liability: $12,042,396,000

Percentage of total: 0.79%

17. Alameda County, California

17. Alameda County, California

Total income tax liability: $12,204,862,000

Percentage of total: 0.80%

16. San Mateo County, California

16. San Mateo County, California

Total income tax liability: $12,376,364,000

Percentage of total: 0.82%

15. San Francisco County, California

15. San Francisco County, California

Total income tax liability: $13,805,574,000

Percentage of total: 0.91%

14. Dallas County, TX

14. Dallas County, TX

Total income tax liability: $14,667,751,000

Percentage of total: 0.97%

13. Westchester County, NY

13. Westchester County, NY

Total income tax liability: $15,061,953,000

Percentage of total: 0.99%

12. Fairfield County, Connecticut

12. Fairfield County, Connecticut

Total income tax liability: $15,227,839,000

Percentage of total: 1.00%

11. Nassau County, New York

11. Nassau County, New York

Total income tax liability: $15,375,144,000

Percentage of total: 1.01%

10. Middlesex County, Massachusetts

10. Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Total income tax liability: $16,704,904,000

Percentage of total: 1.10%

9. San Diego County, California

9. San Diego County, California

Total income tax liability: $17,274,830,000

Percentage of total: 1.14%

8. Maricopa County, Arizona

8. Maricopa County, Arizona

Total income tax liability: $17,987,889,000

Percentage of total: 1.18%

7. Harris County, Texas

7. Harris County, Texas

Total income tax liability: $20,663,622,000

Percentage of total: 1.36%

6. Orange County, California

6. Orange County, California

Total income tax liability: $21,931,444,000

Percentage of total: 1.44%

5. King County, Washington

5. King County, Washington

Total income tax liability: $22,879,220,000

Percentage of total: 1.51%

4. Santa Clara County, California

4. Santa Clara County, California

Total income tax liability: $27,180,499,000

Percentage of total: 1.79%

3. Cook County, Illinois

3. Cook County, Illinois

Total income tax liability: $31,008,352,000

Percentage of total: 2.04%

2. New York County, New York

2. New York County, New York

Total income tax liability: $40,960,806,000

Percentage of total: 2.70%

1. Los Angeles County, California

1. Los Angeles County, California

Total income tax liability: $55,677,867,000

Percentage of total: 3.67%

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