Special Report

America's Richest and Poorest States

Source: Thinkstock

10. Washington
> Median household income: $67,106
> Population: 7,288,000 (13th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 5.4% (9th highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.3% (14th lowest)

The median household income in Washington state climbed significantly — from $64,764 in 2015 to $67,106 in 2016. Not only did earnings go up, but homeowners in the state also likely increased their net worth in 2016. Washington’s median home value climbed $22,400 from $284,000 in 2015 to $306,400 in 2016. In comparison, the typical home value nationwide climbed only $10,500 over the same period.

Source: Thinkstock

9. California
> Median household income: $67,739
> Population: 39,250,017 (the highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 5.4% (9th highest)
> Poverty rate: 14.3% (20th highest)

California is one of the wealthiest states in the nation. Some 10.1% of households in the state earn over $200,000 a year, well above the 6.4% share of households nationwide. The median income across the state is $67,739 per year, about $10,000 more than the U.S. median. The state’s higher incomes are reflected in higher home values. The typical home in California is worth $477,500, more than in any state other than Hawaii.

The relatively large shares of high earners does not mean the state is without low income households, however. Some 14.3% of Californians live in poverty, roughly in line with the 14.0% U.S. poverty rate.

Source: Thinkstock

8. Virginia
> Median household income: $68,114
> Population: 8,411,808 (12th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 4.0% (15th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.0% (12th lowest)

Virginia has a healthy job market with a relatively large share of high-paying jobs. Just 4.0% of the Virginia workforce is unemployed, a substantial improvement from the state’s 4.5% unemployment rate one year ago and less than 4.9% annual U.S. unemployment rate. An estimated 15.4% of workers in the state are employed in the generally high paying professional, scientific, management, and administrative services, the second largest share in the country. The typical household in Virginia earns $68,114 a year, far more than the U.S. median household income of $57,617.

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7. New Hampshire
> Median household income: $70,936
> Population: 1,334,795 (10th lowest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 2.8% (2nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 7.3% (the lowest)

The typical New Hampshire household earns $70,936 a year, far more than the national median of $57,617. Relatively few residents in the state endure extreme financial hardship. Just 4.0% of households earn less than $10,000 annually, and just 7.3% of New Hampshire residents live in poverty, the second smallest and smallest shares in the country, respectively. New Hampshire’s high incomes may partially be the result of high educational attainment in the state. Some 92.8% of state adults have graduated from high school, and 36.6% of adults have a bachelor’s degree — the fourth and seventh largest shares of any state, respectively.

Source: Thinkstock

6. Connecticut
> Median household income: $73,433
> Population: 3,576,452 (22nd lowest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 5.1% (16th highest)
> Poverty rate: 9.8% (4th lowest)

In Connecticut, high educational attainment and a large number of advanced, high-paying jobs have likely contributed to a high concentration of wealth. Some 38.6% of adults in Connecticut have a bachelor’s degree, the fourth highest share of any state. An estimated 8.8% of the state’s workforce is employed in generally high paying finance and insurance jobs, and 2.3% are in information, the second and fifth largest shares in the country. The typical Connecticut household earns $73,433 annually, far more than the $57,617 national median income.