- US Census Bureau data shows the median income for every state in the US.
- There are some patterns among the states with the lowest median incomes in the country: Many are clustered in Appalachia, the South, and the Midwest.
- On the other end of the spectrum, see the 17 states where the typical resident earns more than the national median.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The average American household earns about $US61,000 per year, according to Census data.
But the typical resident of many US states earns less than that.
According to the US Census Bureau‘s 2017 data on each state’s median income, 15 states are at the bottom of the list. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of them also reached the top of the Census Bureau’s list for the highest poverty rates.
Only one New England state, Maine, makes the bottom 15, while states in Appalachia, the South, and the Midwest tend to dominate. The states with the lowest incomes tend to be clustered together geographically, and it shows just how unequally wealth is distributed across the US.
These are the 15 states with the lowest incomes in the US.
Missouri’s poverty rate is much lower than many states on this list, but with the 15th-lowest income in the US, it’s not a very wealthy state.
Median household income: $US56,885
Poverty rate: 11.3%
With low incomes, Las Vegas and Reno’s home state isn’t particularly a high roller.
Median household income: $US56,505
Poverty rate: 12.3%
Tennessee’s low costs of living don’t quite make up for the state’s lower incomes.
Median household income: $US55,240
Poverty rate: 13.7%
Oklahoma’s median household income is far lower than the national average.
Median household income: $US55,006
Poverty rate: 13.8%
11. South Carolina
Coastal cities like Charleston might make South Carolina seem opulent, but the state’s high poverty rate shows another side.
Median household income: $US54,971
Poverty rate: 14.6%
Florida might be a favourite of retirees and Miami a draw for millionaires, but the whole state isn’t necessarily sharing the wealth.
Median household income: $US53,681
Poverty rate: 14.3%
Maine’s high costs of living, combined with lower incomes, doesn’t necessarily help the state’s already high poverty rate.
Median household income: $US51,664
Poverty rate: 12.3%
Kentucky’s high poverty rate and low incomes put the Bluegrass State at number eight.
Median household income: $US51,348
Poverty rate: 16.4%
Alabama’s poverty rate is lower than Kentucky’s, but so is the median income.
Median household income: $US51,113
Poverty rate: 15.8%
6. North Carolina
Despite having bigger cities and a bustling commerce scene, North Carolina has lower incomes than its southern sister, South Carolina.
Median household income: $US50,343
Poverty rate: 14.4%
The first state on the list with a median household income that doesn’t reach the $US50,000 mark, Arkansas has a low household income.
Median household income: $US48,829
Poverty rate: 15.6%
4. New Mexico
New Mexico’s deserts and mountains are stunning, but this state also has a high poverty rate.
Median household income: $US47,855
Poverty rate: 18.7%
3. West Virginia
Once known as “coal country,” West Virginia’s economy has suffered as mines have shut down.
Median household income: $US45,392
Poverty rate: 16.6%
While best known for opulent New Orleans, Louisiana’s poverty rate is actually the highest in the nation. Nearly a fifth of the state lives in poverty.
Median household income: $US43,903
Poverty rate: 20.0%
While Mississippi’s poverty rate isn’t as high as Louisiana’s, the state has the lowest median income of all 50 states, putting it at the bottom of the list.
Median household income: $US43,441
Poverty rate: 19.5%
- Read more:
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