America’s Richest (and Poorest) States

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25. Wisconsin
> Median household income:
$52,622
> Population: 5,757,564 (20th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 5.5% (18th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 13.2% (19th lowest)

Wisconsin’s median household income in 2014 remained effectively unchanged from 2013, reflecting little improvement in the residents’ standard of living. Income, however, was distributed relatively evenly across the state’s 5.8 million residents. Wisconsin’s Gini coefficient was the sixth lowest in the country last year. Statewide, homes were valued relatively low, at just $164,700, below the national benchmark of $181,200. And while the percentage of Americans without health insurance declined 2.8 percentage points to 11.4%, the uninsured rate in Wisconsin fell by just 1.8 percentage points to 7.3%, more than 4 percentage points lower than the national rate.

24. Nebraska
> Median household income:
$52,686
> Population: 1,881,503 (14th lowest)
> Unemployment rate: 3.3% (2nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 12.4% (16th lowest)

Nebraska’s median household income in 2014 remained effectively unchanged from 2013, reflecting little improvement in the residents’ standard of living. The state is average by many measures that tend to correlate with income. Also, the state’s Gini coefficient was one of the lowest in the country last year. Statewide, however, homes were valued relatively low at just $133,800, or more than $40,000 below the national benchmark of $181,200.

23. Texas
> Median household income:
$53,035
> Population: 26,956,958 (2nd highest)
> Unemployment rate: 5.1% (16th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 17.2% (12th highest)

Texas’s median household income increased by roughly $750 in 2014 to $53,035, one of the smallest statistically valid increases in the country. Statewide, homes were valued relatively low at just $139,600, or more than $40,000 below the national benchmark of $181,200. The large share of new immigrant hispanic residents may contribute to Texas’ high poverty rate. More than 17.2% of state residents lived below the poverty line last year, higher than the national poverty rate of 15.5%.

22. Pennsylvania
> Median household income:
$53,234
> Population: 12,787,209 (6th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 5.8% (22nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 13.6% (21st lowest)

Pennsylvania’s median household income remained roughly in line with the nationwide median income of $53,657. This was not the case for the state’s housing market, however. Statewide, the typical home was valued relatively low at just $165,400, or more than $10,000 below the national benchmark of $181,200. As was the case nationwide, the share of uninsured adults in the state declined significantly from 2013. Just 8.5% of the adult population did not have health insurance last year, down from the previous year. Nationwide, 11.7% of Americans did not have health insurance, also down from the 2013 uninsured rate of 14.5%.

21. Iowa
> Median household income:
$53,712
> Population: 3,107,126 (21st lowest)
> Unemployment rate: 4.4% (9th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 12.2% (15th lowest)

Iowa’s median household income in 2014 changed little from 2013, reflecting minimal improvement in the residents’ standard of living. The state’s median household income was roughly in line with the typical national income of $53,657. Income was also distributed relatively evenly across the state’s 3.1 million residents. The state’s Gini coefficient was one of the lowest in the country last year. Statewide, homes were valued relatively low. Nearly 11.5% of homes in Iowa were valued at less than $50,000, the 18th highest rate in the country of homes valued so low. With a median home value of $133,100, the typical Iowa home was worth nearly $50,000 less than the typical American home.