America’s Richest (and Poorest) States

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35. Ohio
> Median household income:
$49,308
> Population: 11,594,163 (7th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 5.7% (19th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 15.8% (20th highest)

Ohio’s median household income in 2014 remained effectively unchanged from 2013. With low incomes came lower home values. The median home was worth $129,100, or more than $50,000 below the national benchmark of $181,200. The low incomes may be due to low levels of education. In fact, 26.6% of adults in Ohio had a bachelor’s degree as of last year, versus the comparable national educational attainment rate of 30.1%. On the other hand, a higher share of Ohio adults had at least a high school education compared to the nationwide figure, although not enough to push incomes higher.

34. Georgia
> Median household income:
$49,321
> Population: 10,097,343 (8th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 7.2% (6th highest)
> Poverty rate: 18.3% (7th highest)

Georgia’s median household income in 2014 changed little from 2013, reflecting minimal improvement in residents’ standard of living. Like in many states with a low median income, poverty was also a major problem. Georgia had the seventh highest poverty rate in the country, at 18.3%. Also, despite declining from the year before, the state’s 7.2% unemployment rate was one of the highest in the country. Low incomes and a weak job market may have contributed to low real estate values as well. Statewide, homes were valued relatively low. At just $147,900, the median home value was more than $30,000 below the national benchmark of $181,200. Additionally, nearly 12% of homes were valued at less than $50,000, the 16th highest rate in the country of homes valued so low.

33. Indiana
> Median household income:
$49,446
> Population: 6,596,855 (16th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 6.0% (25th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 15.2% (23rd highest)

Statewide, Indiana homes were valued relatively low. The typical home in Indiana was worth just $124,300, or more than $55,000 less the national benchmark of $181,200. Low incomes may be at least partially due to low levels of education. Less than 25% of adults in Indiana had a bachelor’s degree as of last year, a smaller attainment rate than in all but nine other states. Though Indiana is one of the poorer states, income is distributed relatively evenly across the state’s 6.6 million residents. Indiana’s Gini coefficient was one of the lowest in the country last year. Though Indiana’s median household income in 2014 changed little from 2013, the uninsured rate across the state dropped significantly. While 14% of Indiana residents did not have health insurance in 2013, less than 12% of remained uninsured as of last year.

32. Maine
> Median household income:
$49,462
> Population: 1,330,089 (10th lowest)
> Unemployment rate: 5.7% (19th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 14.1% (22nd lowest)

Maine’s median household income in 2014 was nearly $1,800 higher than the state’s median income in 2013, reflecting an improvement in the residents’ standard of living. Nationwide, median income increased by just one-third of that. Despite a relatively high share of adults with at least a high school education compared to the rest of the country, Maine’s incomes were somewhat low. The lower incomes may be due to a large proportion of the state’s workforce employed in a low-paying industry. In fact, 13.9% of Maine’s workforce was employed in the retail sector, the highest such rate across the country.

31. Michigan
> Median household income:
$49,847
> Population: 9,909,877 (10th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 7.3% (5th highest)
> Poverty rate: 16.2% (18th highest)

Michigan’s median household income increased to $49,847 last year. While this was a significant increase over 2013, income remained below the national income of $53,657. Also, the state’s unemployment rate of 7.3% last year, despite declining from the year before, remained among the highest nationwide. Low incomes and a weak job market may have contributed to low real estate values as well. Statewide, homes were valued at just $125,700, more than $50,000 below the national benchmark of $181,200. Despite a higher share of adults with at least a high school education than the national rate, Michigan’s incomes were quite low. Low incomes may be due to more than 18% of the state’s labor force working in manufacturing, a low-paying industry. Nationwide, 10.3% of the labor force worked in manufacturing.