Special Report

America's Richest and Poorest States

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15. Rhode Island
> Median household income: $63,870
> Population: 1,059,639 (8th lowest)
> 2017 unemployment rate: 4.5% (21st highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.6% (20th lowest)

Rhode Island’s economy is performing well by a number of key financial indicators. The state’s median household income increased more than $2,400 over the past year — a greater increase than all but a handful of other states. Rhode Island also had a 1.2 percentage point decline in its poverty rate over the same time, while the U.S. poverty rate dropped 0.6 percentage points.

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14. New York
> Median household income: $64,894
> Population: 19,849,399 (4th highest)
> 2017 unemployment rate: 4.7% (15th highest)
> Poverty rate: 14.1% (16th highest)

New York has one of the higher median household incomes in the country at $64,894. But it does not seem that the relatively high median income translates to high wages for all workers. Some 14.1% of people are in poverty, above the U.S. rate. And while New York has the seventh highest share of households earning $200,000 or more at 9.8%, it also has one of the higher shares of households living on less than $10,000. Some 7.4% of households live in extreme poverty, above the 6.5% national rate.

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13. Utah
> Median household income: $68,358
> Population: 3,101,833 (20th lowest)
> 2017 unemployment rate: 3.2% (8th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.7% (6th lowest)

Residents of Utah are among the least likely to live in poverty or extreme poverty, as compared to those in the other 49 states. The 9.7% poverty rate is lower than that of all but a handful of other states and the share of households in Utah that live on less than $10,000 — 4.2% — is the second lowest in the country. Utah residents can generally provide for their families as a very small share of them are unemployed. The state’s unemployment rate is 3.2%, slightly lower than it was the year before.

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12. Minnesota
> Median household income: $68,388
> Population: 5,576,606 (22nd highest)
> 2017 unemployment rate: 3.5% (13th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.5% (4th lowest)

Minnesota is tied with New Hampshire for the highest high school attainment rate in the U.S. High school graduates are more likely to be qualified for more jobs and earn high wages than those who did not finish high school. In Minnesota, just 4.5% of households live on less than $10,000 per year, as compared to 6.5% of American households overall, one of the lowest such figures in the country.

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11. Colorado
> Median household income: $69,117
> Population: 5,607,154 (21st highest)
> 2017 unemployment rate: 2.8% (4th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.3% (8th lowest)

Colorado adults are among the best educated in the country. Some 41.2% of adults in the state have at least a bachelor’s degree, higher than all states except Massachusetts. This high degree of educational attainment ensures that a relatively large share of Colorado adults are good candidates for a wide array of jobs. Just 2.8% of Colorado’s labor force is unemployed, one of the lowest rates in the country. Colorado residents are also among the least likely to be impoverished.