10 States With the Biggest Average Social Security Check in 2020

Seniors couple man woman having fun happy
Photo by Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.com

Retirees depend mightily on Social Security payments

These stipends make up 50% or more of income for about half of seniors, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says. About one-quarter of seniors depend on Social Security for at least 90% of their income.

For people of color, these payments can be even more crucial, the center notes. Black and Latino workers have, on average, lower lifetime earnings and higher rates of disability than white workers.

Social Security payments can vary widely from one location to another, however.

A recent MoneyWise analysis shows that the average 2020 Social Security benefit in each state, for example, varies from as little as about $17,000 per year to more than $20,000 per year.

For its analysis, the personal finance site started with the average monthly benefit for a retired worker in each state during 2018. Then, it increased those amounts by 2.8% to account for the cost-of-living increase, or COLA, that Social Security recipients received for 2019, and then by 1.6% to account for the smaller COLA received for 2020.

MoneyWise found that the average annual Social Security benefit in 2020 is highest in the following 10 states:

  1. New Jersey: $20,264
  2. Connecticut: $20,202
  3. Delaware: $19,854
  4. New Hampshire: $19,630
  5. Michigan: $19,442
  6. Maryland: $19,412
  7. Washington: $19,251
  8. Indiana: $19,078
  9. Minnesota: $19,069
  10. Pennsylvania: $18,994

The states with the lowest average annual benefit in 2020 are:

  1. Mississippi: $17,161
  2. Maine: $17,185
  3. New Mexico: $17,273
  4. Montana: $17,380
  5. Arkansas: $17,382

People who want to make their Social Security benefit payments as big as possible for retirement are advised to wait until age 70 to claim Social Security. Learn more about the advantages of postponing claiming in “7 Reasons You Should Not Claim Social Security Early.”

Some folks, though, could be better off claiming benefits as early as possible, at age 62. The details are in “5 Reasons You Should Claim Social Security ASAP.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
9 Things You Should Never Pay For With a Debit Card
9 Things You Should Never Pay For With a Debit Card

Use your debit card for one of these expenses, and you could risk your bank account balance, your credit score or even identity fraud.

33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100
33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100

A little money goes a long way with these imaginative projects. You can do most of them yourself.

Secret Ways to Save on Netflix
Secret Ways to Save on Netflix

These little-known savings tactics can help whittle down what you pay for your streaming video subscription — every month.

How Much of My Social Security Benefit Can My Ex Take From Me?
How Much of My Social Security Benefit Can My Ex Take From Me?

A man wonders if his ex-wife will siphon away his Social Security benefit.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020
20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020

These practical products made everyday life a little easier last year — and will do so in the new year, too.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors

These accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.