Special Report

States Where Incomes Have Gone Up the Most

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35. Pennsylvania
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +2.8%
> Median household income: $63,463 (2019); $61,713 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 12.0% (2019); 12.2% (2018)
> Unemployment: 4.4% (2019); 4.2% (2018)

The typical household in Pennsylvania earned $63,463 in 2019, or $1,750 more than the median household income in 2018. The state is one of only a handful to report an increase in median income while also reporting a worse job market. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate climbed to an average of 4.4% in 2019 from 4.2% in 2018.

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34. Ohio
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +2.9%
> Median household income: $58,642 (2019); $56,990 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 13.1% (2019); 13.9% (2018)
> Unemployment: 4.1% (2019); 4.5% (2018)

The 2.9% increase in median household income in Ohio in 2019 was smaller than the increase most states reported, and well below the 4.5% increase across the U.S. as a whole. With rising incomes, the share of Ohio residents living below the poverty line fell in the last year. In 2019, 13.1% of the state population lived below the poverty line, compared to 13.9% the previous year.

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33. Arizona
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +3.0%
> Median household income: $62,055 (2019); $60,236 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 13.5% (2019); 14.0% (2018)
> Unemployment: 4.7% (2019); 4.7% (2018)

Though the median household income in Arizona increased by 3.0% from 2018 to 2019, up to over $62,000, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.7% in 2019, the same as it was the year before.

Arizona also reported an increase in the share of wealthy households, with the percentage of households earning $200,000 or more per year growing from 6.1% to 6.6%. Meanwhile, the poverty rate declined by half a percentage point, though it remains higher than the 12.3% U.S. poverty rate.

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32. New Jersey
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +3.1%
> Median household income: $85,751 (2019); $83,206 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 9.2% (2019); 9.5% (2018)
> Unemployment: 3.6% (2019); 4.1% (2018)

New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the country, with a median annual household income of $85,751. The Garden State’s median household income climbed by 3.1% in 2019. Over the same period, the share of households earning $200,000 or more annually climbed from 14.4% to 15.2%.

An improved job market may partially explain the increase in household income in New Jersey. The state unemployment rate stood at 3.6% in 2019, an improvement from the 4.1% rate in 2018.

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31. Virginia
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +3.4%
> Median household income: $76,456 (2019); $73,955 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (2019); 10.7% (2018)
> Unemployment: 2.8% (2019); 3.0% (2018)

The typical Virginia household earned $76,456 in 2019, about $2,500, or 3.4%, more than in 2018. Over the same period, the share of high-income households climbed, while the share of residents facing serious financial hardship declined. The share of households earning $200,000 or more increased from 11.1% 2018 to 11.9% in 2019, and the poverty rate fell from 10.7% to 9.9%.

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