Investing

America's Richest States

10. Hawaii
> Median income: $59,125
> Poverty rate: 11.5% (18th lowest)
> Without health insurance: 7.5% (2nd lowest)
> Unemployment: 6.1% (10th lowest)

Hawaii has one of the healthiest economies in the country, bolstered by a large number of wealthy retirees and a robust tourism industry. As a result, the state’s median household income is just shy of $60,000. The state’s percentage of retirees means that more residents are covered by the federal government under medicare, and so there is smaller burden on the state. The Honolulu Statistical Area, which represents more than 70% of the state’s population, has a median income of more than $67,000 per household, well above the median metropolitan statistical area income of $50,000.

9. Colorado
> Median income: $59,669
> Poverty rate: 11.9% (20th lowest)
> Without health insurance: 14.3% (23rd highest)
> Unemployment: 8.5% (22nd highest)

Colorado’s unemployment rate of 8.5% is not ideal — nor is its high number of people without health insurance. Most of Colorado consists of poor rural areas, like Costilla County, which has a median income of less than $25,000. However, the most populous areas, including Denver and Boulder, all have median incomes at or above the national level. Colorado’s extremely affluent cities, including Littleton, Aurora, and Aspen, have pushed it to the top tier of wealthy states. Douglas County, which is located near Colorado Springs, is the seventh-wealthiest county in the United States.

8. Utah
> Median income: $59,857
> Poverty rate: 9.1% (3rd lowest)
> Without health insurance: 13.2% (23rd highest)
> Unemployment: 7.5% (15th lowest)

Utah has the third-lowest poverty rate in the United States. While the Salt Lake City metropolitan region, and nearby Ogden and Provo, make up only a small part of the state, a huge percent of the state’s population lives in the area. All three are flourishing with young populations and diverse economies bolstered by technology, health care and several large universities. And because these cities represent most of the state’s population, the state’s median income is high. Davis County, which is part of the Ogden Metropolitan Statistical Area, is home to roughly 10% of the state’s population. It also has a median income of $66,220, the third-highest in the state.

7. Massachusetts
> Median income: $60,923
> Poverty rate: 10.9% (14th lowest)
> Without health insurance: 5% (the lowest)
> Unemployment: 7.6% (16th lowest)

Massachusetts has vibrant education and health care industries, both of which contribute to the above-average incomes for its residents. The state has among the most well-distributed wealth in the country. Unlike Colorado, which is characterized by extremely poor rural areas and extremely wealthy suburbs, nearly every county in Massachusetts exceeds the national median income of $50,221. As evidence of the even distribution of wealth, the state’s wealthiest county, Norfolk, has a median household income of just under $80,000. Though high, it is not even in the top 25 wealthiest counties in the U.S.

6. Virginia
> Median income: $61,544
> Poverty rate: 10.6% (12th lowest)
> Without health insurance: 12.9% (21st lowest)
> Unemployment: 6.1% (9th lowest)

In terms of wealth and poverty, Virginia can be divided into two regions. The vast majority of the state is rural, located to the south and west. Of its 135 counties, 83 have a median income well below the national average. However, the upper east portion of the state forms a large part of the D.C. suburbs, which are home to many of the nation’s wealthiest families. In fact, six of the counties near the border — Loudon, Falls Church City, Arlington, Prince William, Stafford and Fairfax — are all among the fifteen wealthiest counties in the entire country. The last of these, Fairfax, is also the most populous county in Virginia, representing nearly 40% of the state’s total population.