Although the United States added more than 2.3 million jobs last year, that didn’t increase the income levels or improve the poverty rates across much of the country.
That’s according to 24/7 Wall St., which recently released its rankings of the richest and poorest states in the U.S. The standings are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey. 24/7 Wall St. said:
While many American households continue to struggle to make ends meet, those in the richest states continued to earn far more than households in the poorest states. Maryland was the wealthiest state in the U.S. again last year, with a median income of $72,483. Mississippi, in turn, was yet again America’s poorest state, with a median income of just $37,963.
The five wealthiest states in the U.S. are:
- Maryland. Maryland’s median household income of $72,483 was more than $20,000 above the national median income. The Free State also has the third lowest poverty rate in the country at just more than 10 percent.
- Alaska. Alaskans enjoy a high median household income of $72,237, and just 9 percent of its residents live in poverty, the second lowest in the nation.
- New Jersey. A median household income of $70,165, plus “nearly 10 percent of households had incomes of $200,000 or more, the highest rate in the country,” helped push New Jersey to the third wealthiest state in the U.S., 24/7 Wall St. said.
- Hawaii. “In addition to paradisal scenery and tropical weather, Hawaii residents are also among the nation’s wealthiest,” 24/7 Wall St. said. Hawaiians enjoy a median household income of $68,020.
- Connecticut. It’s described as one of the richest and most unequal states. “A typical household earned roughly $67,000 last year and nearly 1 in 10 earned more than $200,000 in 2013, second only to New Jersey,” 24/7 Wall St. said.
Things don’t look nearly as rosy in the South, home to the five poorest states in America.
- Mississippi. Mississippi has the lowest median household income at $37,963 and the highest percentage (24 percent) of people living below the poverty line. At $72,483, Maryland’s median household income is nearly double that of Mississippi.
- Arkansas. With a median household income of $40,511, weak job market, high poverty rate and low real estate values, Arkansas is the second poorest state in the U.S.
- West Virginia. The median household income is $41,253, which likely affects the housing market in West Virginia. “The median home value was only $103,200 in 2013, lower than all but one other state,” 24/7 Wall St. said.
- Alabama. The Cotton State has a median household income of $42,849, and nearly 19 percent of residents live below the poverty line.
- Kentucky. The median income in the Bluegrass State was just $43,399 last year, compared with the national median of $52,250. Kentucky also has low home values, high unemployment and a high poverty rate.
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