> Gini coefficient: 0.4756
> Median household income: $41,693 (6th lowest)
> Households earning $200,000+: 3.4% (tied for 15th lowest)
> Population living below poverty line: 18.3% (12th highest)
Income inequality in Tennessee increased slightly in 2011 compared to 2010. Like most states, the middle-class took a hit, as median income declined by $760 between 2010 and 2011. In addition, more people found themselves out of the middle class as evident by the rise in the percentage of residents on food stamps, from 17.0% in 2010 to 17.6% last year. This was the third-highest percentage of all states. In a report released by the liberal-leaning Institute for Policy Studies, two of Tennessee’s congressional representatives received the an “F” grade for not supporting measures and legislation to narrow the income gap in the state.
> Gini coefficient: 0.4770
> Median household income: $46,007 (18th lowest)
> Households earning $200,000+: 4.3% (21st highest)
> Population living below poverty line: 19.1% (5th highest)
Last year, 6.4% of Georgia households earned less $10,000 annually, the sixth-highest percentage in the nation. This percentage was significantly higher than in 2007, when only 4.8% of the state’s residents earned less than $10,000. In addition, the number of residents living below the poverty line has risen considerably from 14.3% of the population in 2007 to 19.1% in 2011. Meanwhile, although the proportion of well-earning Georgians has fallen, this change has been far less dramatic. In 2011, 4.3% of residents earned at least $200,000, down slightly from 4.6% in 2010. Both of Georgia’s Senators received failing grades from the Institute for Policy Studies’ Income Inequality Report Card. These grades, which deemed the senators “1% friendly,” were based on their voting record.
> Gini coefficient: 0.4771
> Median household income: $49,392 (25th highest)
> Households earning $200,000+: 5.4% (16th highest)
> Population living below poverty line: 18.5% (11th highest)
The percentage of Texan households earning more than $200,000 in 2011 increased to 5.4% from 5.1% in 2010, placing Texas in the top-third nationally. The same was true for the other end of income earnings. The percentage of households earning less than $10,000 was also in the top third at 5.7%, up from 5.3% in 2010. Texas’s unemployment rate in Sept. 2011 of 7.9% was significantly better than the national rate of 9% at the time. However, the state had a disproportionate share of low-wage jobs compared to the country as a whole, according to the BLS. Workers earning minimum wage or less comprised 8% of the state’s hourly workers in 2011 compared to 5.2% nationwide.
> Gini coefficient: 0.4771
> Median household income: $62,859 (5th highest)
> Households earning $200,000+: 9.9% (4th highest)
> Population living below poverty line: 11.6% (9th lowest)
Massachusetts is considered by many measures one of the wealthiest states in the country. In 2011, median household income was $62,859, one of the highest figures in the nation. Also, nearly 10% of households earned $200,000 — more than all but three states. Still, in recent years, income in Massachusetts has become less equally distributed and the state’s Gini coefficient rose from 0.467 in 2007 to 0.477 last year. While the percentage of households earning large amounts did not change significantly during that time, median income has fallen by nearly $5,000, from $67,514 in 2007.
> Gini coefficient: 0.4811
> Median household income: $44,299 (14th lowest)
> Households earning $200,000+: 4.4% (19th highest)
> Population living below poverty line: 17.0% (17th highest)
In 2011, 5.4% of state residents earned less than $10,000, slightly higher than the national rate of 5.1%. Meanwhile, just 4.4% earned more than $200,000 — well below the 5.6% national benchmark. Both figures, however, were far worse than they were in the past. In 2007, just 3.6% of households earned less than $10,000 annually, while 5.4% earned more than $200,000. But while many Floridians have lost wealth since the recession, Florida is still home to 32 billionaire members of the Forbes 400, led by Micky Arison, worth $5 billion as of September.