Special Report

America's Richest and Poorest States

Source: Thinkstock

35. Indiana
> Median household income: $52,314
> Population: 6,633,053 (17th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 4.4% (21st lowest)
> Poverty rate: 14.1% (21st highest)

The typical Indiana household earns $52,314 a year, about $5,300 less than the typical American household. Across broad populations, incomes tend to increase with educational attainment. In Indiana, only 25.6% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, a considerably smaller share than the 31.3% of adults nationwide with a bachelor’s degree.

Lower incomes in Indiana are reflected in the state’s property values. The typical home in the state is worth $134,800, well below the $205,000 median home value nationwide.

Source: Thinkstock

34. Ohio
> Median household income: $52,334
> Population: 11,614,373 (7th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 4.9% (20th highest)
> Poverty rate: 14.6% (18th highest)

The median household income in Ohio climbed slightly from $51,610 in 2015 to $52,334 in 2016. The increase was not enough to meaningfully reduce the share of state residents facing serious financial hardship, however. The state’s 2016 poverty rate of 14.6% remained effectively unchanged from the previous year. Meanwhile, the U.S. poverty rate fell from 14.7% to 14.0% over the same period.

The state’s stagnant poverty rate may partially be the result of a stagnant job market. Ohio’s 4.9% annual unemployment rate has remained unchanged since 2015. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 4.9% over the same period.

Source: Thinkstock

33. Michigan
> Median household income: $52,492
> Population: 9,928,300 (10th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 4.9% (20th highest)
> Poverty rate: 15.0% (15th highest)

While Michigan continues to compare unfavorably to most states in economic measures such as poverty and income, some economic conditions are improving modestly in the state. The state’s median household income climbed by nearly $1,000 in 2016 to $52,492. Additionally, the share of state residents living below the poverty line fell from 15.8% in 2015 to 15.0% in 2016.

Source: Thinkstock

32. Maine
> Median household income: $53,079
> Population: 1,331,479 (9th lowest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 3.9% (13th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 12.5% (21st lowest)

Maine’s median household income of $53,079 a year is about $4,500 below the national median of $57,617. For a state in which incomes tend to be so low, Maine is unusual by at least one key measure — relatively high educational attainment. While higher educational attainment tends to correlate with higher incomes, in Maine 92.3% of adults have a high school diploma, the seventh largest share in the country and well above the national share of 87.5%. College attainment tends to be a better indicator of wealth, however, and Maine’s 30.1% share of adults with a bachelor’s degree falls slightly below the national share of 31.3%.

Source: Thinkstock

31. Arizona
> Median household income: $53,558
> Population: 6,931,071 (14th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 5.3% (13th highest)
> Poverty rate: 16.4% (8th highest)

The concentration of poverty in a state often mirrors the state’s median household income ranking, but this is not always the case. Arizona has the 20th highest median household income of any state but the eighth highest poverty rate. The state’s relatively high unemployment rate could be contributing to the state’s high poverty rate. At 5.3%, Arizona’s jobless rate is 13th highest of all states and slightly higher than the U.S. 4.9% jobless rate.

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