Special Report

States With the Widest Gap Between Rich and Poor

7. Massachusetts
> Gini coefficient: 0.4837 (tied-6th highest)
> Median household income: $66,768 (6th highest)
> Households earning $200,000+: 8.3% (4th highest)
> Population living below poverty line: 11.9% (11th lowest)

Massachusetts is home to some of the nation’s wealthiest people. More than 8% of state residents earned more than $200,000 last year, a higher percentage than in all but three other states. And a typical household earned $66,768, also among the highest figures in the country. Further, less than 12% of people lived in poverty in 2013, versus 15.8% of all Americans. However, despite this, the bottom-earning 40% of households accounted for just 11% of all income in Massachusetts last year, among the lowest such rates in the nation.

6. Georgia
> Gini coefficient: 0.4837 (tied-6th highest)
> Median household income: $47,829 (18th lowest)
> Households earning $200,000+: 3.9% (tied-21st highest)
> Population living below poverty line: 19.0% (5th highest)

Last year, 9.2% of households in Georgia reported less than $10,000 in income, one of the highest rates in the U.S. Further, 19% of individuals lived below the poverty line, the fifth highest rate in the nation. High unemployment rates may further contribute to inequality in the state. Last year, 8.2% of Georgia workers were unemployed, among the worst rates in the country. Recently, unemployment has been a factor in state politics as well, with Governor Nathan Deal expressing skepticism about recent numbers, and challenger Jason Carter mocking him by stating “Governor, it’s time to put the tinfoil hats away.”

ALSO READ: The 10 Worst States for Women

5. Florida
> Gini coefficient: 0.4843
> Median household income: $46,036 (12th lowest)
> Households earning $200,000+: 3.9% (tied-21st highest)
> Population living below poverty line: 17.0% (15th highest)

Last year, the top 5% of households accounted for 24% of all income in Florida, more than in all but two other states. Like in many states, a large number of households in Florida are struggling to get by. As of last year, 15.1% of households in the state relied on food stamps. Back in 2007, that figure was just 5.8%. Further, 8.2% of households in Florida reported less than $10,000 in income in 2013, more than in many states, while 17% of residents lived below the poverty line — above the national rate of 15.8%. While many Floridians are struggling, the ongoing return to normal housing market conditions could help alleviate some of their problems.

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