These Are America’s Richest & Poorest States

Posted September 21st, 2015 at 2:45 pm (UTC-4)
45 comments

(Left) A vacant store in Mississippi, America's poorest state. (Right) A home in Maryland, the richest state in the U.S., according to US Census data. (Photo on left by Flickr user Jimmy Smith, photo on right by Flickr user Gramophone Maryland, both via Creative Commons license)

(Left) A vacant store in Mississippi, America’s poorest state. (Right) A home in Maryland, the richest state in the U.S., according to US Census data. (Photo on left by Flickr user Jimmy Smith, photo on right by Flickr user Gramophone Maryland, both via Creative Commons license)

Mississippi is the nation’s poorest state while Maryland ranks as its richest, according to newly released information from the US Census Bureau.

In addition to Mississippi, the three poorest states include West Virginia and Arkansas. Relatively low levels of education could be a factor in the poverty and lower incomes in all three states.

At the other end of the spectrum are Maryland, New Jersey and Alaska, which rank as the country’s richest states. The median income in Mississippi was $39,680 compared to $73,971 in Maryland.

File photo of a home in West Virginia by Flickr user Richard Elzey via Creative Commons license.

File photo of a home in West Virginia by Flickr user Richard Elzey via Creative Commons license.

Three states — Washington, North Dakota, and Connecticut — reported income increases of more than $2,000 in 2014. Kentucky, the fifth poorest poor state, experienced a significant decline in income; the typical household earned $1,139 less in 2014 than in 2013. Income levels were essentially the same in 2013 and 2014 in 33 states.

Overall, the United States added 3.2 million new jobs in 2014, up from the 2.3 million jobs that were added in 2013. At the end of 2014, there were 139 million jobs in the U.S., more than at the start of 2008, the peak before the recession.

But not all U.S. states are sharing in this prosperity; the poverty rate has actually increased in 12 states. The nation’s overall poverty rate was 14.8 percent, which means 46.7 million people were living in poverty in 2014.

The U.S. Census Bureau said these numbers presented no “statistically significant” change from the previous year. It’s the fourth year in a row that poverty rates were not statistically different from the previous year.

The real median income for family households was $68,426, which was also not statistically different from 2013. However, when compared to 2007 — the year before the U.S. fell into its most recent recession — the real median household income is actually 6.5 percent lower.

24/7 Wall Street crunched the numbers and came up with the list below.

(File photo in teaser image by Flickr user Kevin Bond via Creative Commons license.) 

AMERICA’S RICHEST AND POOREST STATES
50. Mississippi – Median household income: $39,680  Poverty rate: 21.5%
49. West Virginia – Median household income: $41,059  Poverty rate: 18.3%
48. Arkansas – Median household income: $41,262  Poverty rate: 18.9%
47. Alabama – Median household income: $42,830  Poverty rate: 19.3%
46. Kentucky – Median household income: $42,958  Poverty rate: 19.1%
45. Tennessee – Median household income: $44,361  Poverty rate: 18.3%
44. Louisiana – Median household income: $44,555  Poverty rate: 19.8%
43. New Mexico – Median household income: $44,803  Poverty rate: 21.3%
42. South Carolina – Median household income: $45,238  Poverty rate: 18.0%
41. Montana – Median household income: $46,328  Poverty rate: 15.4%
40. North Carolina – Median household income: $46,556  Poverty rate: 17.2%
39. Florida – Median household income: $47,463  Poverty rate: 16.5%
38. Oklahoma – Median household income: $47,529  Poverty rate: 16.6%
37. Idaho – Median household income: $47,861 Poverty rate: 14.8%
36. Missouri – Median household income: $48,363  Poverty rate: 15.5%
35. Ohio – Median household income: $49,308  Poverty rate: 15.8%
34. Georgia – Median household income: $49,321  Poverty rate: 18.3%
33. Indiana – Median household income: $49,446  Poverty rate: 15.2%
32. Maine – Median household income: $49,462  Poverty rate: 14.1%
31. Michigan – Median household income: $49,847  Poverty rate: 16.2%
30. Arizona – Median household income: $50,068  Poverty rate: 18.2%
29. South Dakota – Median household income: $50,979  Poverty rate: 14.2%
28. Oregon – Median household income: $51,075  Poverty rate: 16.6%
27. Nevada – Median household income: $51,450  Poverty rate: 15.2%
26. Kansas – Median household income: $52,504  Poverty rate: 13.6%
25. Wisconsin – Median household income: $52,622 Poverty rate: 13.2%
24. Nebraska – Median household income: $52,686  Poverty rate: 12.4%
23. Texas – Median household income: $53,035  Poverty rate: 17.2%
22. Pennsylvania – Median household income: $53,234  Poverty rate: 13.6%
21. Iowa – Median household income: $53,712  Poverty rate: 12.2%
20. Vermont – Median household income: $54,166  Poverty rate: 12.2%
19. Rhode Island – Median household income: $54,891  Poverty rate: 14.3%
18. Wyoming – Median household income: $57,055  Poverty rate: 11.2%
17. Illinois – Median household income: $57,444  Poverty rate: 14.4%
16. New York – Median household income: $58,878  Poverty rate: 15.9%
15. North Dakota – Median household income: $59,029  Poverty rate: 11.5%
14. Delaware – Median household income: $59,716  Poverty rate: 12.5%
13. Utah – Median household income: $60,922  Poverty rate: 11.7%
12. Colorado – Median household income: $61,303 Poverty rate: 12.0%
11. Washington – Median household income: $61,366  Poverty rate: 13.2%
10. Minnesota – Median household income: $61,481  Poverty rate: 11.5%
9. California – Median household income: $61,933  Poverty rate: 16.4%
8. Virginia – Median household income: $64,902  Poverty rate: 11.8%
7. New Hampshire – Median household income: $66,532  Poverty rate: 9.2%
6. Massachusetts – Median household income: $69,160  Poverty rate: 11.6%
5. Hawaii – Median household income: $69,592  Poverty rate: 11.4%
4. Connecticut – Median household income: $70,048  Poverty rate: 10.8%
3. Alaska – Median household income: $71,583  Poverty rate: 11.2%
2. New Jersey – Median household income: $71,919  Poverty rate: 11.1%
1. Maryland- Median household income: $73,971  Poverty rate: 10.1%

More About America
Most US Wealth Concentrated in These 10 Areas
Here’s Who’s Losing Out on the American Dream
The End Is Near for These US Jobs
Dramatic Drop in Teen Workers Is Bad News for US Labor Force
9 of 10 Largest US Occupations Pay Miserly Wages

45 responses to “These Are America’s Richest & Poorest States”

  1. raymond says:

    Massachuccetts is my favourite state in the US with nightlife great musiumes and facinating beaches have a visit to massachuccetts and u will be glad u did.

    • Sarah george says:

      Wait till you see fredricksburg virginia .

    • James says:

      I dont like snow

    • Leslie says:

      I was born and raised in California. I spent 20 years of my life in the Navy, and I was stationed on both coasts. I’ve had the chance to visit all 50 states, and I’ve been to many places abroad. My husband was born and raised in Ohio. I have only one sibling, and my husband has no living relatives.

      When my husband and I started looking places to retire we had to weigh all of the pros and cons. Cost of living (housing/shelter, property taxes, utilities, food,) employment opportunities, unemployment rates, health insurance costs, quality of education (public and private), economy, proximity to a military base (since we’re retired military), outdoor/indoor recreation, entertainment, and a few other factors. Ultimately we decided to settle in Ogden, UT, near my brother and his family. We love it here, and it’s been one of the best decisions that we made for our family.

      • Mitsli says:

        I’ve lived all over this country prettiest state by fat especially in the fall is West Virginia. Its a shame this state is always ranked the worst in so many categories. It may be a poor state but u can’t find hospitality like this anywhere u go.

  2. woodgate says:

    i love america and my best states is Washington

  3. Davi says:

    My favourite state is Oregon.

  4. Asf says:

    The above comments were written by 9 year olds.

    • Ryan says:

      Man, you aren’t joking. These comments made me laugh out loud. It’s no wonder the poverty percentages are so high in so many states. People can’t even write a proper sentence, let alone put together a resume.

      • Amy Slutter says:

        I thought, at first, that these comments were written as a folly, a joke, as part of sarcasm. Then I realized these people were serious. Actually 9 year olds would have done a better job spelling. P.S. “would of ” is NOT proper English!! WOULD HAVE…….”I WOULD HAVE used spell check if I had a brain cell left that worked”

      • ramon lopez says:

        The president are joke

  5. Chikezie says:

    It’s Maryland or I go back to where I came from. We contributed our land to that became the nation’s capital and today we are enjoying the benefits. ….sometimes, small may be mighty.

  6. jayman says:

    Raymond, perhaps you should focus more on the great libraries that Massachusetts has to offer and a little less on the night life.

  7. Joe says:

    Seattle has got to be the only thing carrying Washington…

  8. Donnie says:

    All the poor states consecutively vote republican, and if you check the education list the same poor States are at the bottom of that.

  9. stan says:

    washington is my favourite state

  10. Damien says:

    Rhode Island SUCKS!

    • ramon lopez says:

      I been in rhode island with family i like it i do but is popular over there i am in jersey i dont jersey either i like to live in Florida

  11. Biggiewmn says:

    Texas is right in the middle.But there is no state income tax and you can own a home and a nice car here on $45k a year.We have to support a lot of illegals here so it brings our education stats down. Living is good here.

  12. Sue says:

    Ok! Everyone gets it! U love your own state! That’s a good thing!! Maryland is my home state , but I would love it even it was not #1…..

    • Mya says:

      I am from Maryland and that is the worst state in the union. They make you disabled then refuse to give you disability benefits. If you do not have disability money they kick you out of their state. Maryland sucks!!!!!!!

  13. Andrew says:

    My favorite state is Florida!! The second one is Mass!!

  14. Betsy says:

    New Hampshire is nice and so is Florida!

  15. ivan says:

    I love California, Hollywood

  16. R.E. says:

    South Carolina is amazing to me… but Charleston is becoming too crowded and way too many yankees are moving here way too fast! Although without Charleston, I’d bet we’d be the poorest state.

  17. Bill says:

    We have a lot of drugs in CT

  18. Sean says:

    I’ve been to 45 states. New Jersey and Montana are not for me. Kentucky is my home and can’t get away from living there. Florida and North Carolina are wonderful places to live.

  19. Daniel says:

    Minnesota is one of my favorite states. For starters, our government is thriving and we have a hefty surplus. Second of all, we have over 10,000 lakes ranging in size and activities for various types of leasure. Our education system is often ranked top five throughout the US and we are home to the second largest undergraduate university by population in the US. If you travel north, conservatives and Republicans are the norm, and if you travel south to the major metropolitan of Minneapolis your democratic and liberal or progressive politics are accepted with arms wide open. Minneapolis also boasts the second largest theater-seats-per-capita in the world. Wow, this ended up sounding like an ad for Minnesota. Oops, guess I just love my state 🙂

  20. Alexis says:

    I’m not surprised… Most people in Arkansas are rednecks.

  21. Roger Graham says:

    I’m from New York City. Lived there the majority of my life and I love it to death. But today you have to be rich to live there.

  22. BG says:

    What’s with the obsession Southerners have with Yankees (RE’s comment) ? Gee, maybe your backward thinking is what keeps southern states on the bottom of the list ?

  23. Bee says:

    Maryland is my home all day all night. Love it out here 100%.

  24. I love every state in the USA …. My favorite … California

  25. Justin says:

    I Live on Maryland =D

  26. I love the USA … California and the Bay Area is terrific

  27. The people in every state in the USA are OK

  28. joe says:

    how about help for these poorest states can they get food stamps good wages on jobs hourly rate has to go up donations from salvation army clothing and school supplies to help familys in need thank you