Special Report

America's Richest and Poorest States

Source: Thinkstock

15. Delaware
> Median household income: $61,757
> Population: 952,065 (6th lowest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 4.4% (21st lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.7% (16th lowest)

Higher educational attainment rates are often tied to higher incomes in a population. In Delaware, 31.0% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, in line with the 31.3% U.S. bachelor’s degree attainment rate. Despite similar educational attainment rates, the typical household in Delaware earns $61,757 annually, well above the nationwide median household income of $57,617.

In keeping with higher incomes, property is worth more in Delaware than in much of the United States. The typical home in the state is worth $243,400 — about $38,400 more than the median home value nationwide.

Source: Thinkstock

14. New York
> Median household income: $62,909
> Population: 19,745,289 (4th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 4.8% (25th highest)
> Poverty rate: 14.7% (16th highest)

The typical New York state household earns $62,909 a year, considerably more than the national median household income of $57,617. While most New York households outearn the typical American household, 15.0% receive food stamps, the seventh largest share of all states and well above the comparable U.S. share. One explanation may be the large number of New York City residents receiving SNAP benefits, which rose slightly in the past year, largely because of increasingly generous qualification standards. While New York City makes up more than 40% of the state’s population, the city accounts for nearly 60% of New York state’s food stamp recipients.

Source: Thinkstock

13. Minnesota
> Median household income: $65,599
> Population: 5,519,952 (22nd highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 3.9% (13th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (6th lowest)

Breaking from the broader national pattern, Minnesota’s job market worsened in 2016. The state’s unemployment rate climbed slightly from 3.7% in 2015 to 3.9% in 2016. Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 4.9% over same period. Despite the jobs slump, median household income went up in Minnesota from $64,188 in 2015 to $65,599 in 2016. Additionally, with a 9.9% poverty rate, relatively few state residents face serious financial hardship. Twelve states have a higher median household income than Minnesota, and only five have a lower poverty rate.

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12. Colorado
> Median household income: $65,685
> Population: 5,540,545 (21st highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 3.3% (7th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.0% (12th lowest)

The typical Colorado household earns $65,685 a year, far more than the typical American household income of $57,617. A higher educational attainment rate often leads to higher paying job opportunities, and 39.9% of adults in Colorado have a bachelor’s degree or higher — the highest such share after only Massachusetts and well above the 31.3% share of adults nationwide.

With higher incomes, state residents can afford more expensive homes. The typical home in Colorado is worth $314,200, about $109,200 more than the median home value nationwide.

Source: Thinkstock

11. Utah
> Median household income: $65,977
> Population: 3,051,217 (20th lowest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 3.4% (8th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.2% (7th lowest)

Utah residents are among the least likely to be struggling financially nationwide. Only 4.2% of households in the state earn less than $10,000 a year, the third smallest share after only New Hampshire and Alaska. Similarly, Utah’s 10.2% poverty rate is well below the U.S.’s 14.0% poverty rate. Utah’s median household income of $65,977 a year is higher than in all but 10 other states and well above the median household income nationwide of $57,617.