5 Richest and Poorest American States

November 12, 2015

More than 3 million jobs were added last year and it’s even more than in 2013 when around 2.5 million jobs were added. The quantity of jobs in the end of 2014 exceeded the pre-recession peak in 2008. Despite all the positive changes and improvements, household income levels increased not in all American states. Thus, states with lowest income levels still have quite high poverty rates when in states with highest incomes it’s possible to see the opposite tendency. Poverty rate in states with lowest household income level exceed 15%. Across the country, the poverty rate decreased only in 12 states and only 2 of them were among the states with the lowest income. Let’s take a look at richest and poorest states in America.

5 Poorest States


Median household income in Mississippi was $39,700 and poverty rate of 21.5% is the highest in the country. Such figures made many people use Personal Money Service for installment loans and other credit products to make ends meet. Also there’s a high unemployment rate of 7.8%. Mississippi is one of the states with low education levels because only 21% of adults had a bachelor’s degree as of last year. Except of low incomes and poverty problem, there’s such an issue like low real estate values.

West Virginia

The typical household in West Virginia earned a little more than $41,000 last year and this data puts this state on the 2nd place among the states with the lowest household income. Also West Virginia has as high poverty rate as 18.3% and one of the highest unemployment rates in the country – 6.5%.


Median household income in Arkansas is not as low as in 2 previous states but the difference isn’t impressive: typical Arkansas household made $41,200 last year. Homes in Arkansas were valued as low as $112,000 per a typical house in the state. As in other states with low income, there are high unemployment and poverty rates: 6.1% and 18.9% respectively.


Concerning median household rate, nothing has significantly changed in Alabama in 2014. Thus, median household rate equaled $42,800 and an unemployment rate was the 11th highest in the country – 6.8%. Like in other states with low income, high poverty rate (19.3%) and low real estate value are important problems in Alabama.


The typical household in Kentucky made a little less than $43,000 last year. It’s important to mention that Kentucky was the only state where indicators of median household income declined between 2013 and 2014. Kentucky’s poverty rate was 19.1% and the 5th highest in the country and the unemployment rate was 6.5% in 2014.

5 Richest States


Last year median household income in Maryland was around $74000 and it’s more than in any other state in the country. However, cost of living in this state was one of the highest nationwide. High household incomes and median home values, low poverty and unemployment rates made Maryland one of the most valuable income distributors in the US.

New Jersey

The same as in Maryland, cost of living in New Jersey is high because goods and services cost in average 15% more than across the country. Median household income in New Jersey is nearly $72,000 and home values in the state were also high. However, unemployment rate in New Jersey was as high as 6.6% when poverty rate of 11.1% was the 4th lowest in the country.


6.4% of households in Alaska made $200,000 or more last year. Typical household in this state made more than $71000 in 2014. Alaska has high income levels partly because of trust fund that redistributes oil revenues to the state’s residents. Real estate value level was one of the highest nationwide as median home value exceeded $254,000. Poverty rate of 11.2% is the 6th lowest when unemployment rate of 6.8% is the 11th highest in the US.


Median household income in Connecticut was more than $70,000 last year. Between 2013 and 2014 it rose by $2,100 and it’s the second largest increase of any state. Connecticut’s poverty rate of 10.8% was the 3rd lowest in the country when unemployment rate remained as high as 6.6%. Last year one in every 10 households in Connecticut made at least $200,000.


The cost of living in Hawaii in 2014 was one of the highest in the country due goods and services costing around 16% more than across the country. Median household income in Hawaii was nearly $70,000, unemployment rate was as low as 4.4% and poverty rate was the 7th lowest in the country and made 11.4%. The median home value of $528,000 was the highest nationwide.