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With over 3,100 counties in the U.S., choosing which county’s municipal bond to invest in may seem like a somewhat daunting task. While state munis are typically the most popular choices, some county issues offer more attractive yields and fundamentals than their state-level counterparts.

Below, we outline 15 counties with municipal bonds that feature low, stable yields, giving investors peace of mind when making an allocation. Note that munis with high yields are often very risky and can fall under the “junk” umbrella, which is what sets the following issues apart [keep up with municipal bond news and analysis with a free account].

Government Building

1. Elmore County, Alabama

Elmore County lies in the east-central part of Alabama, encompassing 622 square miles. In recent years, the county’s economy has shifted from agriculture based to a growing manufacturing-driven economy. As such, its municipal bonds offer relatively high and attractive yields.

  • Name: County Board of Education of Elmore County, Alabama Capital Outlay School Refunding Warrants Series 2012B
  • CUSIP: 28976PAU9
  • Maturity: 02/01/2018
  • Coupon: 1.400%

2. Tulsa County, Oklahoma

Tulsa County is both the most densely populated county in the state of Oklahoma and the wealthiest, with the highest income as of the 2010 U.S. Census. Both of these statistics factor into its municipal bonds being rated AA2 by Moody’s.

  • Name: Tulsa County Oklahoma Independent School District Technology Equipment Series 2014B
  • CUSIP: 899525RD3
  • Maturity: 03/01/2019
  • Coupon: 1.500%

3. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Cattle Grazing in Field

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is most known for its native Pennsylvania Dutch-speaking community, which most outsiders know as the Amish. The municipal bond being offered by the county owns an A1 rating from Moody’s and is being used to construct a new multi-purpose stadium in downtown Lancaster.

  • Name: Lancaster County Pennsylvania Redevelopment Authority Taxable Guaranteed Multi Purpose Stadium Facility Revenue Bonds Series 2012
  • CUSIP: 514053AT4
  • Maturity: 11/15/2017
  • Coupon: 1.776%

4. Orange County, California

Perhaps one of the most famous counties on this list, Orange County is well known for its sunny beaches and flourishing tourism. Its municipal bonds hold an AA1 rating from Moody’s because of the county’s large and affluent tax base and its above-average economic and financial rating factors.

  • Name: North Orange Community District (Orange and Los Angeles Counties, California) 2013 General Obligation Refunding Bonds (Federally Taxable)
  • CUSIP: 661334DT6
  • Maturity: 08/01/2019
  • Coupon: 1.871%

5. Grant and Cibola County, New Mexico

Grant County, New Mexico is located in the southwestern part of the state and according to the 2010 U.S. Census is home to just under 30,000 people. Cibola County is located further north in New Mexico, and according to the 2010 U.S. Census, has over 27,000 inhabitants, making both of these counties very sparsely populated. Bonds issued together by these counties have an AA1 rating from Moody’s.

  • Name: Grants and Cibol County New Mexico School District No. 1 General Obligation School Bonds Series 2015
  • CUSIP: 388240GY3
  • Maturity: 10/01/2018
  • Coupon: 2.000%

6. Pike County, Kentucky

Pike County, Kentucky is both the easternmost county in the state, and the largest in terms of land mass. The infamous Hatfield-McCoy Feud took place between Pike and bordering Mingo County, West Virginia. The county’s municipal bond is rated AA3 by Moody’s.

  • Name: Pike County Kentucky School District Finance Corporation Revenue Bonds Series 2015
  • CUSIP: 721174E22
  • Maturity: 06/01/2018
  • Coupon: 2.000%

7. Travis County, Texas

Travis County, Texas is located in central Texas and is composed of the state capital of Austin as well as its surrounding areas. This county is also where the Longhorns of the University of Texas call home. Moody’s grades the county’s municipal bonds with an A1 rating.

  • Name: Travis County Texas Water Control and Improvement District No. 20 Unlimited Tax improvement and Refunding Bonds Series 2013.
  • CUSIP: 894539CS2
  • Maturity: 09/01/2017
  • Coupon: 2.000%

8. Oklahoma County, Oklahoma

Oklahoma County, Oklahoma is in the center of the state and home of the state capital of Oklahoma City. It is also the most populous county in the state and one of seven counties to share names with the state in which they reside. The county’s municipal bonds are rated as AA3 by Moody’s.

  • Name: Oklahoma County Oklahoma Independent School District No. 52 General Obligation Building Bonds Series 2014
  • CUSIP: 678807NE4
  • Maturity: 01/01/2018
  • Coupon: 2.000%

9. Outagamie County, Wisconsin

Cornfields and Springlers

Outagamie County, Wisconsin is located in the eastern section of the state of Wisconsin and is named after the Weskwaki Indians who originally inhabited the area before the French. Moody’s assigned Outagamie County’s municipal bonds a rating of AAA.

  • Name: Outagamie County Wisconsin General Obligation Refunding Bonds 2012
  • CUSIP: 689900VF2
  • Maturity: 04/01/2019
  • Coupon: 2.000%

10. Monroe County, Pennsylvania

Monroe County, Pennsylvania is located on the state’s eastern border with New Jersey and is named after the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe. The county’s bonds have been rated AA3 by Moody’s and will be used to fulfill general obligations.

  • Name: Monroe County Pennsylvania General Obligation Bonds Series 2014.
  • CUSIP: 610767TA3
  • Maturity: 09/15/2019
  • Coupon: 2.000%

11. Johnston County, North Carolina

Formed in 1746, Johnston County in North Carolina has a population of approximately 168,000 according to the 2010 U.S. Census. It was known as a leading producer of tobacco and much of its culture revolves around the traditional eastern, North Carolina farmer life. The county’s municipal bonds have an AA2 rating from Moody’s.

  • Name: County of Johnston, North Carolina General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2010B
  • CUSIP: 479340QR5
  • Maturity: 02/01/2018
  • Coupon: 2.000%

12. Dorchester County, South Carolina

This historically and culturally rich county in South Carolina is home to over 142,000 people according to the 2010 U.S. Census, and is included in the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area. Its municipal bond holds an AA2 rating from Moody’s and is dated at the shorter end of the maturity spectrum.

  • Name: Dorchester County, South Carolina Waterworks and Sewer System Revenue Refunding Bonds Series 2012
  • CUSIP: 25819393CQ2
  • Maturity: 10/01/2018
  • Coupon: 2.000%

13. Hubbard County, Minnesota

Located in north-central Minnesota, Hubbard County spans across 932 square miles and has 315 lakes within its boundaries, which attract tourism and an important source of income. Its municipal bonds, which hold an AA3 Moody’s rating, offer relatively high and stable yields

  • Name: Hubbard County, Minnesota General Obligation Correctional Facility Refunding Bonds, Series 2012
  • CUSIP: 443348CD7
  • Maturity: 02/01/2022
  • Coupon: 2.000%

14. Somerset County, New Jersey

View of Modern Mall

Created in 1688, Somerset County is situated in heavily populated Central New Jersey, the nation’s largest metropolitan area. Its municipal bonds hold a high rating of AAA from Moody’s because of its sizable and diverse tax base.

  • Name: County of Somerset, New Jersey General Obligation Bonds Consisting of: General Improvement, Series 2012A and Open Space/Farmland and Preservation, Series 2012B
  • CUSIP: 834664P73
  • Maturity: 07/15/2017
  • Coupon: 2.000%

15. Clay County, Minnesota

Clay County is located along the Interstate 94 corridor in Minnesota and its local economy is largely dependent on agriculture and food products. The county’s municipal bonds are being used to finance the construction of county state-aid road improvements.

  • Name: Clay County, Minnesota General Obligation State-Aid Road Bonds, Series 2013A
  • CUSIP: 183396MQ0
  • Maturity: 04/01/2017
  • Coupon: 2.000%

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