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March 20, 2008
10 Best Places to Get a Great Paycheck
A new report from Forbes.com identifies the top 10 U.S. counties where individuals are most likely to "get ahead" and receive higher pay. But the report is quick to point out that the richest areas in America aren't necessarily the best-paying.

As noted in the report, "Manhattan, Hollywood and Silicon Valley may boast some of the richest residents in the country, but these hugely competitive places don't necessarily boast the best job prospects for the average American." Instead, "average Joes" should "be on the lookout for places where median incomes are rising quickly and job growth is strong" according to Forbes.

Forbes.com compiled income and job data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics and looked at every U.S. county where the median income was at least $75,000. It ranked these counties by how quickly median income had risen since 2000, taking into account job-growth data.

Interestingly, Maryland and Virginia boast 6 of the top 10 counties on the Forbes.com list. And, 4 of the top 5 counties on the list are part of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. This includes top-ranked Stafford County in Virginia. As Forbes explains, this county's "steep curve of economic growth makes it a quickly developing business center. The median income is $85,014, up 27% from 2000, and jobs have increased at just under a 6% clip over that same period of time." Here is the complete top 10 list:

  1. Stafford County, Virginia
  2. Forsyth County, Georgia
  3. Calvert County, Maryland
  4. Loudon County, Virginia
  5. Charles County, Maryland
  6. Prince William County, Virginia
  7. Anne Arundel County, Maryland
  8. Delaware County, Ohio
  9. Sussex County, New Jersey
  10. Williamson County, Tennessee

For more details about the counties on the list, visit Forbes.com.

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