Special Report

States Where Incomes Have Gone Up the Most

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30. Oklahoma
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +3.4%
> Median household income: $54,449 (2019); $52,654 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 15.2% (2019); 15.6% (2018)
> Unemployment: 3.3% (2019); 3.4% (2018)

The typical Oklahoma household earned about $2,200 — or 3.4% — more in 2019 than it did the previous year. Still, the state’s income growth lagged behind that of the nation. The U.S. median household income increased by 4.5%, up to $65,712. Oklahoma’s median is over $11,000 lower, at $54,449. Across the country, only seven states have lower median household incomes than Oklahoma.

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29. Michigan
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +3.6%
> Median household income: $59,584 (2019); $57,518 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 13.0% (2019); 14.1% (2018)
> Unemployment: 4.1% (2019); 4.1% (2018)

Michigan’s average annual unemployment rate remained unchanged from 2018 to 2019, at 4.1%, even as unemployment nationwide fell from 3.9% to 3.7%. Despite a static job market, incomes in the state increased in 2019. The typical household in the state earned $59,584 in 2019, a 3.6% increase from 2018. Over the same period, the share of state residents living below the poverty line fell from 14.1% to 13.0%.

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28. Georgia
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +3.6%
> Median household income: $61,980 (2019); $59,803 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 13.3% (2019); 14.3% (2018)
> Unemployment: 3.4% (2019); 3.9% (2018)

Georgia’s median household income grew from less than $60,000 in 2018 to nearly $62,000 in 2019, a 3.6% increase. The state also improved in several other economic indicators. The poverty rate declined a full percentage point to 13.3%, and the unemployment rate declined half a percentage point to 3.4%.

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27. Missouri
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +3.7%
> Median household income: $57,409 (2019); $55,371 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 12.9% (2019); 13.2% (2018)
> Unemployment: 3.3% (2019); 3.2% (2018)

The typical Missouri household earned $57,409 in 2019, a modest 3.7% increase over the median household income the previous year.

Missouri is one of only a handful of states to rank on this list despite a worsening job market. The state’s unemployment rate climbed slightly from 3.2% in 2018 to 3.3% in 2019. Still, Missouri had a lower than average unemployment rate last year, as the national rate stood at 3.7%.

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26. Oregon
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +3.9%
> Median household income: $67,058 (2019); $64,520 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 11.4% (2019); 12.6% (2018)
> Unemployment: 3.7% (2019); 4.1% (2018)

The typical household in Oregon earned $67,058 in 2019, about $2,500, or 3.9%, more than in 2018. Rising incomes have led to a meaningful improvement in Oregon’s poverty rate. The share of state residents living below the poverty line fell from 12.6% to 11.4% between 2018 and 2019, making Oregon one of only 13 states with a poverty rate that fell by over 1 percentage points last year.

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