America’s Richest and Poorest States
From Wall Street 24/7, October 4, 2018
From 2016 to 2017, the U.S. economy improved in several key metrics. The median household income increased by more than $1,500, unemployment dropped from 4.9% to 4.4%, and the poverty rate fell from 14.0% to 13.4%.
While this is good news, the effects weren’t felt equally across all 50 states, and much of the gains in median household income went to households that were already wealthy. Income inequality in the U.S. remains high and incomes vary dramatically at the state level as well. The typical household in the wealthiest state earns over $37,000 more each year than the typical household in the poorest state.
The South holds a higher-than-average concentration of the poorest states in the country. Many of the wealthiest are coastal states in the West, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions. Both states outside of the lower 48 — Alaska and Hawaii — are among the 10 richest states.
24/7 Wall St. ranked all 50 states according to the newly-released median household income figures from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey.
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> Median household income: $77,765
> Population: 1,427,538 (11th lowest)
> 2017 unemployment rate: 2.4% (the lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.5% (3rd lowest)
Hawaii households are among the least likely to live in poverty and those in the state’s labor force are the least likely to be unemployed in the country. Some 17.3% of workers in the state are involved in the arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food service industries, as Hawaii is a popular vacation spot. The string of islands in the Pacific Ocean obviously have an economy that functions much differently than the other 49 states. Shipping goods to Hawaii can be expensive, so many items cost much more than in other states. Hawaii’s median home value is by far the highest in the country at $617,4000, more than $100,000 higher than the next highest state.
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