America’s wealthiest (and poorest) states

New Hampshire is the state with the highest median income in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s report on income, poverty and health insurance.

The median household income in New Hampshire averaged a cool $65,028 annually over the past two years.

In Mississippi, the average household earned a median of just $35,693 per year in 2008 and 2009, 45% less than New Hampshire households and the lowest income of any state.

Those statistics, which were released Thursday, also indicate that four of the wealthiest states were located in the Northeast and, along with Maryland and Virginia, form a tight cluster of wealth.

The top 10 wealthiest states

Where median income is highest

1 New Hampshire $65,028

2 New Jersey $64,918

3 Connecticut $64,644

4 Maryland $63,828

5 Alaska $62,675

6 Virginia $61,126

7 Utah $60,396

8 Massachusetts $59,732

9 Hawaii $58,469

10 Washington $58,404

Source:U.S. Census Bureau

The bottom 10 poorest states

Where median incomes are lowest

1 Mississippi $35,693

2 Arkansas $37,987

3 West Virginia $39,170

4 Tennessee $40,034

5 South Carolina $41,548

6 Montana $41,587

7 Kentucky $41,828

8 Alabama $42,144

9 North Carolina $42,337

10 Louisiana $42,423

Source:U.S. Census Bureau

Full story: America’s wealthiest (and poorest) states – Sep. 16, 2010

  • chalmers

    What matters it was it costs to live in those states.
    I lived in NJ in the 60’s and was paying more in taxes and higher utility bills then than I do now in Georgia.
    What they leave you for your family is what matters.

    • chalmers

      Should read, What matters is what it costs……..

  • johnnyzip

    While it is beneficial to have a reliable entity gather useful statistics on many aspects of the nation, I don’t think that the U.S. Census Bureau, a Federal Government bureaucracy, has the required credibility to be believable.

    Oddly, prior to and during the 2010 Census, the Feds kept telling us how we would be fined/prosecuted for not complying. We live in a ninety-two home, upper price subdivision and I have talked with many of my neighbors who have talked with other neighbors and it appears that no one in our subdivision ever received census forms or had a census taker come to our homes. This is ninety-two families in one subdivision that were not included in the 2010 Census as far as I can tell.

    However, my barber said that she received and mailed in her census form and one week later a census taker came to her home. Altough she told the census taker that she had mailed her form, she was told that it didin’t matter, she needed to be interviewed in person. I assume that her family was counted twice.

    Knowing that the majority of residents in our community are registered Republicans or Indepenents and that my barber is a Democrat, I got to wondering if we were excluded explicity because of our political affiliation since the cencus was conducted by the Democrats.

    Sounds like a conspiricy theroy I know, but gee, I would liked to have been included. I guess ZIP codes really do matter when gathering statistics, especially by a government bureucracy.

  • gismo1198

    I’d like to point out that wealth and income are entirely difference concepts and one can’t be used as a measure for the other. For example a billionare who retires at the age of 42 has a great deal of wealth, but 0 income outside of his investments. This is a similiar concept to the difference between the deficit (annualized value) versus the debt (aggregate value).

    I understand that CNN Money made the initial mistake, but would request DC correct it, as it can be very misleading.

  • monkeybird

    I can’t help but wonder if the significantly higher cost of living in the top wealthiest states in included when determining wealth? You need to publish the cost of living information along side the wealthiest states list.

  • richardq18

    The bottom 10 poorest states, 7 are “right to work” states which basicly forbid unions. Where as The top 10 wealthiest states 8 are pro-union. Just saying.

    • E7-2521

      NH is a ‘right to work state’

      Just saying

    • zorro

      Not to mention what “monkeybird” said:

      “I can’t help but wonder if the significantly higher cost of living in the top wealthiest states in included when determining wealth? You need to publish the cost of living information along side the wealthiest states list.”

      If anything, unions are causing the high cost of living wage by over-inflating salaries.

    • gismo1198

      I agree with zorro. I believe that this is a difficult comparison to make without cost of living adjustments. Not to mention, this fails to capture any concept of overall labor costs or productivity. Unit labor cost (productivity / labor cost) appears to be higher in many states with weaker union support.

  • thephranc

    Maryland and Virgina are high because of the overinflated government salaries so COLA and local inflation is higher bringing up other salaries. More money doesn’t mean buying power. So rich and poor is relative.

    • tromso

      Couldn’t be more true. When I was stationed at Mayport Florida in the 80’s, myself and two other enlisted guys rented a house in Atlantic Beach at the end of a cul de sac, we were the last house before you got to the sand. Go through the gate in the backyard, and you’re on the beach. Try that in California with two E-5’s and an E-4. Better beach, too. :)

  • tromso

    Median or average? I saw both words up there. Here where I live in Washington State, a few billionaires and a bunch of millionaires in Seattle’s east suburbs skew the average pretty bad, I’d think.

    • didacticrogue

      It’s an aggregated story – you may want to redirect your (very good) question to Les over at CNN.

      Sadly, I’ve more than once seen the terms used interchangeably by “journalists” who are clearly unaware of the difference.