Special Report

America's Richest and Poorest States

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Incomes were on the rise in the United States ahead of the pandemic, according to the most recent available annual data from the Census Bureau. The typical American household earned $65,712 in 2019, about $3,000 more than the national median household income of $62,860 in 2018. Of course, incomes have fluctuated a great deal in the past year, thanks to the effects of COVID-19 on the economy and budgets of American families.

Early evidence points to COVID-19 substantially increasing income inequality. Even before the pandemic, incomes varied substantially across the country, including from state to state. For example, in 2019 there were eight states where most households earned an income of less than $55,000 a year. At the same time, there were a dozen states where the majority of households earned an income of over $75,000 annually.

To help illustrate these income disparities, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s richest and poorest states. States were ranked using median household income data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. The poorest states are in the South, while the states with the highest incomes are either in the Northeast or on the West Coast.

Median incomes tend to have strong correlations with other key socioeconomic indicators, such as home values, educational attainment, and poverty. The states with higher incomes tend to have lower poverty rates, higher shares of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree, and higher median home values.

To identify the richest and poorest states in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed one-year median household income estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey for all 50 states. Additional information on state poverty rate, educational attainment, median home value, and population are also one-year estimates from the 2019 ACS.

Click here to see America’s richest and poorest states

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50. Mississippi
> Median household income: $45,792
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 22.3% (2nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 19.6% (the highest)
> Median home value: $128,200 (2nd lowest)
> Population: 2,976,149

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49. West Virginia
> Median household income: $48,850
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 21.1% (the lowest)
> Poverty rate: 16.0% (6th highest)
> Median home value: $124,600 (the lowest)
> Population: 1,792,147

ALSO READ: The US Cities Where Home Values Are Falling the Fastest

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48. Arkansas
> Median household income: $48,952
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 23.3% (3rd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 16.2% (5th highest)
> Median home value: $136,200 (3rd lowest)
> Population: 3,017,804

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47. Louisiana
> Median household income: $51,073
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 25.0% (4th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 19.0% (2nd highest)
> Median home value: $172,100 (13th lowest)
> Population: 4,648,794

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46. Alabama
> Median household income: $51,734
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 26.3% (8th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 15.5% (7th highest)
> Median home value: $154,000 (6th lowest)
> Population: 4,903,185

ALSO READ: States Where People Struggle Most With Student Debt

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45. New Mexico
> Median household income: $51,945
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 27.7% (10th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 18.2% (3rd highest)
> Median home value: $180,900 (16th lowest)
> Population: 2,096,829

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44. Kentucky
> Median household income: $52,295
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 25.1% (5th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 16.3% (4th highest)
> Median home value: $151,700 (5th lowest)
> Population: 4,467,673

ALSO READ: States Where People Are Struggling With the Most Debt

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43. Oklahoma
> Median household income: $54,449
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 26.2% (7th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 15.2% (8th highest)
> Median home value: $147,000 (4th lowest)
> Population: 3,956,971

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42. Tennessee
> Median household income: $56,071
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.7% (11th lowest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 13.9% (9th highest)
> Median home value: $191,900 (18th lowest)
> Population: 6,829,174

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41. South Carolina
> Median household income: $56,227
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 29.6% (16th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 13.8% (10th highest)
> Median home value: $179,800 (15th lowest)
> Population: 5,148,714

ALSO READ: The Best and Worst States for Retirees

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40. Montana
> Median household income: $57,153
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 33.6% (18th highest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 12.6% (20th highest)
> Median home value: $253,600 (20th highest)
> Population: 1,068,778

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39. North Carolina
> Median household income: $57,341
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 32.3% (24th highest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 13.6% (11th highest — tied)
> Median home value: $193,200 (20th lowest)
> Population: 10,488,084

ALSO READ: Cities Where Home Values Are Rising the Fastest

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38. Missouri
> Median household income: $57,409
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30.2% (19th lowest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 12.9% (18th highest)
> Median home value: $168,000 (11th lowest)
> Population: 6,137,428

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37. Indiana
> Median household income: $57,603
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 26.9% (9th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.9% (23rd highest — tied)
> Median home value: $156,000 (7th lowest)
> Population: 6,732,219

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36. Ohio
> Median household income: $58,642
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 29.3% (14th lowest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 13.1% (15th highest)
> Median home value: $157,200 (8th lowest)
> Population: 11,689,100

ALSO READ: This County Has the Cheapest Homes in America

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35. Maine
> Median household income: $58,924
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 33.2% (20th highest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 10.9% (19th lowest)
> Median home value: $200,500 (23rd lowest)
> Population: 1,344,212

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34. Florida
> Median household income: $59,227
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30.7% (23rd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 12.7% (19th highest)
> Median home value: $245,100 (22nd highest)
> Population: 21,477,737

ALSO READ: 28 Smart Ways to Make Extra Money

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33. South Dakota
> Median household income: $59,533
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 29.7% (17th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.9% (23rd highest — tied)
> Median home value: $185,000 (17th lowest)
> Population: 884,659

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32. Michigan
> Median household income: $59,584
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30.0% (18th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 13.0% (16th highest — tied)
> Median home value: $169,600 (12th lowest)
> Population: 9,986,857

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31. Idaho
> Median household income: $60,999
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.7% (11th lowest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 11.2% (20th lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $255,200 (19th highest)
> Population: 1,787,065

ALSO READ: States Spending the Most and Least on Gambling

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30. Iowa
> Median household income: $61,691
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 29.3% (14th lowest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 11.2% (20th lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $158,900 (9th lowest)
> Population: 3,155,070

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29. Georgia
> Median household income: $61,980
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 32.5% (23rd highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.3% (14th highest)
> Median home value: $202,500 (24th lowest)
> Population: 10,617,423

ALSO READ: How Much Home You Can Buy for 200K in Every State

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28. Arizona
> Median household income: $62,055
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30.2% (19th lowest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 13.5% (13th highest)
> Median home value: $255,900 (18th highest)
> Population: 7,278,717

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27. Kansas
> Median household income: $62,087
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 34.0% (17th highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.4% (23rd lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $163,200 (10th lowest)
> Population: 2,913,314

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26. Vermont
> Median household income: $63,001
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 38.7% (7th highest)
> Poverty rate: 10.2% (15th lowest)
> Median home value: $233,200 (24th highest)
> Population: 623,989

ALSO READ: States With the Largest Average Tax Refund

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25. Nebraska
> Median household income: $63,229
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 33.2% (20th highest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (10th lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $172,700 (14th lowest)
> Population: 1,934,408

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24. Nevada
> Median household income: $63,276
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 25.7% (6th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 12.5% (21st highest)
> Median home value: $317,800 (11th highest)
> Population: 3,080,156

ALSO READ: The Value of a Dollar in Every State

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23. Pennsylvania
> Median household income: $63,463
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 32.3% (24th highest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 12.0% (22nd highest)
> Median home value: $192,600 (19th lowest)
> Population: 12,801,989

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22. Texas
> Median household income: $64,034
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30.8% (24th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 13.6% (11th highest — tied)
> Median home value: $200,400 (22nd lowest)
> Population: 28,995,881

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21. Wisconsin
> Median household income: $64,168
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 31.3% (25th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.4% (16th lowest)
> Median home value: $197,200 (21st lowest)
> Population: 5,822,434

ALSO READ: 30 Richest Americans Of All Time

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20. North Dakota
> Median household income: $64,577
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30.4% (22nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.6% (17th lowest)
> Median home value: $205,400 (25th lowest)
> Population: 762,062

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19. Wyoming
> Median household income: $65,003
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 29.1% (13th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.1% (13th lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $235,200 (23rd highest)
> Population: 578,759

ALSO READ: States Paying Teachers Most and Least

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18. Oregon
> Median household income: $67,058
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 34.5% (16th highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.4% (23rd lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $354,600 (6th highest)
> Population: 4,217,737

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17. Illinois
> Median household income: $69,187
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 35.8% (12th highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.5% (25th lowest)
> Median home value: $209,100 (25th highest)
> Population: 12,671,821

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16. Delaware
> Median household income: $70,176
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 33.2% (20th highest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 11.3% (22nd lowest)
> Median home value: $261,700 (17th highest)
> Population: 973,764

ALSO READ: The Largest Employer in Every State

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15. Rhode Island
> Median household income: $71,169
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 34.8% (14th highest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 10.8% (18th lowest)
> Median home value: $283,000 (13th highest)
> Population: 1,059,361

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14. New York
> Median household income: $72,108
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 37.8% (8th highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.0% (16th highest — tied)
> Median home value: $338,700 (8th highest)
> Population: 19,453,561

ALSO READ: The City in Every State With the Most Billionaires

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13. Minnesota
> Median household income: $74,593
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 37.3% (10th highest)
> Poverty rate: 9.0% (3rd lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $246,700 (21st highest)
> Population: 5,639,632

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12. Alaska
> Median household income: $75,463
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30.2% (19th lowest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 10.1% (13th lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $281,200 (15th highest)
> Population: 731,545

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11. Utah
> Median household income: $75,780
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 34.8% (14th highest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 8.9% (2nd lowest)
> Median home value: $330,300 (10th highest)
> Population: 3,205,958

ALSO READ: The Most Iconic Job in Every State

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10. Virginia
> Median household income: $76,456
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 39.6% (6th highest)
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (10th lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $288,800 (12th highest)
> Population: 8,535,519

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9. Colorado
> Median household income: $77,127
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 42.7% (2nd highest)
> Poverty rate: 9.3% (6th lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $394,600 (4th highest)
> Population: 5,758,736

ALSO READ: You’ll Pay the Most in Taxes in These States

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8. New Hampshire
> Median household income: $77,933
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 37.6% (9th highest)
> Poverty rate: 7.3% (the lowest)
> Median home value: $281,400 (14th highest)
> Population: 1,359,711

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7. Washington
> Median household income: $78,687
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 37.0% (11th highest)
> Poverty rate: 9.8% (9th lowest)
> Median home value: $387,600 (5th highest)
> Population: 7,614,893

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6. Connecticut
> Median household income: $78,833
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 39.8% (5th highest)
> Poverty rate: 10.0% (12th lowest)
> Median home value: $280,700 (16th highest)
> Population: 3,565,287

ALSO READ: The 25 Lowest Paying Jobs In America

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5. California
> Median household income: $80,440
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 35.0% (13th highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.8% (25th highest)
> Median home value: $568,500 (2nd highest)
> Population: 39,512,223

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4. Hawaii
> Median household income: $83,102
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 33.6% (18th highest — tied)
> Poverty rate: 9.3% (6th lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $669,200 (the highest)
> Population: 1,415,872

ALSO READ: The Poorest County In Every State

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3. New Jersey
> Median household income: $85,751
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 41.2% (3rd highest)
> Poverty rate: 9.2% (5th lowest)
> Median home value: $348,800 (7th highest)
> Population: 8,882,190

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2. Massachusetts
> Median household income: $85,843
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 45.0% (the highest)
> Poverty rate: 9.4% (8th lowest)
> Median home value: $418,600 (3rd highest)
> Population: 6,892,503

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1. Maryland
> Median household income: $86,738
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 40.9% (4th highest)
> Poverty rate: 9.0% (3rd lowest — tied)
> Median home value: $332,500 (9th highest)
> Population: 6,045,680

ALSO READ: America’s 25 Richest Universities

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