Special Report

America's Richest and Poorest States

Source: Thinkstock

5. Hawaii
> Median household income: $74,511
> Population: 1,428,557 (11th lowest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 3.0% (3rd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.3% (2nd lowest)

The typical household in Hawaii earned $74,511 in 2016, roughly the same as in 2015 yet far more than the national median income of $57,617. While incomes in Hawaii remained stagnant over the past year, property values rose. The typical home is currently worth $592,000, the most of any state and far more than the value one year ago of $566,900.

Hawaii has one of the largest tourism industries of any state. An estimated 16.6% of the state’s workforce is employed in arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services, far more than the 9.8% national figure.

Source: Thinkstock

4. Massachusetts
> Median household income: $75,297
> Population: 6,811,779 (15th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 3.7% (10th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.4% (9th lowest)

The typical Massachusetts household earned $75,297 in 2016, a substantial increase from the state’s one year ago’s income of $71,146 and far more than the national median of $57,617. One reason for the rising incomes in Massachusetts may be the state’s improving job market. While 4.9% of the state’s labor force was unemployed in 2015, the jobless rate fell to 3.7% in 2016 — one of the largest improvements of any state. The share of Massachusetts adults with a bachelor’s degree also rose from 41.5% to 42.7%, still the largest share of any state.

Source: Thinkstock

3. New Jersey
> Median household income: $76,126
> Population: 8,944,469 (11th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 5.0% (18th highest)
> Poverty rate: 10.4% (9th lowest)

In New Jersey, 38.6% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, a substantial increase from the 37.6% one year ago. Incomes rose in tandem with educational attainment rate. The typical New Jersey household earned $76,126 in 2016, nearly $3,000 more than in 2015. The share of households earning more than $200,000 rose from 11.1% to 12.0% over the same period, remaining the largest of any state. Meanwhile, the share of households earnings less than $10,000 fell from 5.6% to 5.3%.

Source: Thinkstock

2. Alaska
> Median household income: $76,440
> Population: 741,894 (3rd lowest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 6.6% (2nd highest)
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (6th lowest)

An estimated 6.6% of the Alaskan labor force is unemployed, far more than the 4.9% national unemployment rate and the second largest share of any state. Some 29.6% of adults in the state have a bachelor’s degree, less than the 31.3% national share. Despite pervasive joblessness and low educational attainment, Alaskans are relatively wealthy. The typical household earns $76,440 a year, far more than the national median of $57,617. One factor contributing to the state’s high incomes may be the large share of workers employed in the state’s lucrative oil industry. The transportation, warehousing, and utilities sector employs 8.0% of the Alaska workforce, the largest share of any state.

Source: Thinkstock

1. Maryland
> Median household income: $78,945
> Population: 6,016,447 (19th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 4.3% (19th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.7% (3rd lowest)

The typical Maryland household earns $78,945 a year, the most of any state and far more than the national median income of $57,617. Many of the wealthiest parts of Maryland are suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C. such as Chevy Chase, Somerset, and Travilah, where the state’s highest earners can commute to advanced, high-paying jobs in the D.C. metro area. An estimated 15.6% of the Maryland workforce is employed in the generally high paying professional, scientific, and management services, that largest share of any state.

Maryland is also one of the most educated states in the country. Some 39.3% of Maryland adults have a bachelor’s degree, the third largest share of any state.

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