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Richest and poorest states in America

  • Richest and poorest states in America

    In 2016, the median household income in the United States finally approached the levels it was at prior to the economic crash in 2007. Although it took close to a decade, a steady rise in the last few years brought the median household income up to $59,039. This stability may be why Gallup reports fewer Americans are focused on economic issues. In a poll asking Americans what the most important problem facing the country today is, only 20% answered “economic problems” in January 2018—far less than the 86% reported in 2009.

    That said, reduced focus on the economy doesn’t negate economic problems altogether. While unemployment falls and median household income rises, digging deeper shows a level of inequality at the national level. Between 2015 and 2016, the mean household income rose 6.9% for the top 5%; for the bottom fifth of Americans, income rose only 3.9%. The faster rates of increase for the top earners in America continues to widen an income gap that shows no signs of slowing.

    Similarly, U.S. states report varying levels of median household income. There is more than a $35,000 difference between the state with the highest median household income and that with the lowest. Additionally, 32 states report median household incomes lower than the national average.

    To examine this further, Stacker used data from the 2016 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau to report on each state's individual economy. States are ranked by their median household income in increasing order. Also included on the slides is the unemployment rate of the state's labor force, and the total population, estimated as of 2017. Washington D.C. is also included on this list.

  • #52. Puerto Rico

    Median household income: $19,606
    Total population: 3,337,177
    Civilian employed population 16 years and over: 1,055,106
    Unemployment rate of civilian labor force: 17.7%

  • #51. Mississippi

    Median household income: $40,528
    Unemployment rate of civilian labor force: 9.6%
    Total population: 2,984,100

  • #50. Arkansas

    Median household income: $42,336
    Unemployment rate of civilian labor force: 6.9%
    Total population: 3,004,279

  • #49. West Virginia

    Median household income: $42,644
    Unemployment rate of civilian labor force: 7.5%
    Total population: 1,815,857

  • #48. Alabama

    Median household income: $44,758
    Unemployment rate of civilian labor force: 8.3%
    Total population: 4,874,747

  • #47. Kentucky

    Median household income: $44,811
    Unemployment rate of civilian labor force: 7.6%
    Total population: 4,454,189

  • #46. Louisiana

    Median household income: $45,652
    Unemployment rate of civilian labor force: 7.7%
    Total population: 4,684,333

  • #45. New Mexico

    Median household income: $45,674
    Unemployment rate of civilian labor force: 8.5%
    Total population: 2,088,070

  • #44. Tennessee

    Median household income: $46,574
    Unemployment rate of civilian labor force: 7.5%
    Total population: 6,715,984

  • #43. South Carolina

    Median household income: $46,898
    Unemployment rate of civilian labor force: 8.4%
    Total population: 5,024,369

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