Special Report

States Where Incomes Have Gone Up the Most

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

25. Maine
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +4.3%
> Median household income: $58,924 (2019); $56,513 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 10.9% (2019); 11.6% (2018)
> Unemployment: 3.0% (2019); 3.2% (2018)

Maine is one of 25 states where the annual income of the typical household climbed by over 4% in 2019. The median household income in Maine was $58,924 in 2019, about $2,400 more than in 2018.

Over the same period, the state reported an increase in especially high-earning households. In 2019, 5.2% of households in Maine earned $200,000 or more annually, up from 4.5% in 2018.

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24. Wisconsin
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +4.3%
> Median household income: $64,168 (2019); $61,521 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 10.4% (2019); 11.0% (2018)
> Unemployment: 3.3% (2019); 3.0% (2018)

Though the U.S. unemployment rate declined slightly last year, from 3.9% in 2018 to 3.7% in 2019, Wisconsin’s jobless rate increased. The state’s unemployment rate rose from 3.0% to 3.3%.

Even though a growing share of Wisconsin’s labor force reported being out of work in 2019, incomes still increased in the state. The typical household earned over $2,600 more in 2019 than it did the year before, a 4.3% increase.

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23. New York
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +4.3%
> Median household income: $72,108 (2019); $69,110 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 13.0% (2019); 13.6% (2018)
> Unemployment: 4.0% (2019); 4.1% (2018)

The median household income in New York climbed by 4.3% in 2019 — a higher increase than in most states but slightly lower than the national increase in median household income of 4.5%. The median income rose in the state despite a negligible improvement in the unemployment rate. Throughout 2019, an average of 4.0% of the labor force in the state was unemployed, compared to 4.1% in 2018.

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22. Texas
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +4.4%
> Median household income: $64,034 (2019); $61,355 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 13.6% (2019); 14.9% (2018)
> Unemployment: 3.5% (2019); 3.8% (2018)

Texas ranked 24th of all states in 2018 with a median household income of $61,355. A year later, it ranked 22nd, as the typical household in the state earned more than $64,000 in 2019. Though the state also had a relatively large 1.3 percentage point decline in the poverty rate, down to 13.6%, it remained well above the 12.3% nationwide poverty rate.

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21. South Dakota
> 1 yr. change in median household income: +4.4%
> Median household income: $59,533 (2019); $57,030 (2018)
> Poverty rate: 11.9% (2019); 13.1% (2018)
> Unemployment: 3.3% (2019); 3.1% (2018)

The median household income in South Dakota climbed by about $2,500 from 2018 to 2019. The 4.4% increase was higher than in most other states and nearly in line with the 4.5% increase nationwide. The median household income climbed in the state even as the unemployment rate increased. The annual unemployment rate stood at 3.3% in South Dakota in 2019, up from 3.1% in 2018. Still, South Dakota residents are less likely to be out of work than most Americans, as the annual unemployment rate stands at 3.7% nationwide.

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