Why the United States is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, that wealth is far from evenly distributed across the nation’s 50 states, with the ten richest states in America having mean household incomes as much as double those of some other states. Nor are they necessarily the states you would expect that are the richest in the country.
If you’re expecting New York and California to be on the list for example, you’ll be surprised to see them missing (well you won’t be surprised anymore, now that you know). This is particularly surprising given that New York and California have the greatest number of corporate CEO’s and billionaires in the country, along with Texas (which is also absent from the top ten), which should give them a major advantage considering this list uses mean statistics and not median (to which the upper and lower extremes of the scale are less important).
What this reveals is that despite great wealth at the top, there is an even greater pool of poverty at the bottom, while in the richest states in America, there may not be as many ultra-wealthy on top, but there is far less poverty on the lower end of the spectrum. It is perhaps inevitable in just about any state with a great population that there will be mass poverty, as many of the richest states are on the lower end of the population scale.
If you check out our previous list entitled The Secret List of the 10 Wealthiest States in America, you can get a different perspective on the subject. Though the data from that list is now a few years old, it ranks states by the overall wealth of the average person in each state (their net worth, as opposed to their annual income). Again, Texas is surprisingly absent from the top ten, though New York and California do squeak in.
Now then, let’s have a look at our newest list of the ten richest states in America.
Mean household income: $58,420
Total Population: 917,092
Delaware’s income was in the top ten of the country last year, while the percentage of residents living in poverty was the 12thlowest. Recent reports show that Delaware is feared to be at risk of falling into an economic recession however.
Mean household income: $58,906
Total Population: 5,379,139
Minnesota is called the land of lakes because of the 10,000 lakes dotting the state, which gives its people a financial advantage. Just 11.4 percent of Minnesota residents are living in poverty.
Mean household income: $61,741
Total Population: 8,185,867
Nearly 10 percent of the households in Virginia earned at least $200,000 in 2012. In addition to that, their schools were ranked fourth in the nation by Education Week.
7. New Hampshire
Mean household income: $63,280
Total Population: 1,320,718
Only 10 percent of the people living in New Hampshire are doing so in poverty, while just over the same amount of the population is lacking health insurance. Although the state reportedly once had the lowest levels of childhood poverty in the nation, a recent census report shows that children suffering from poverty in New Hampshire rose from 12% to 15.6% over the past 2 years.
Mean household income: $65,339
Total Population: 6,646,144
Massachusetts’ average household income has fluctuated by a few thousand dollars over the last few years, but the amount lost over that time span was recovered in almost the full amount last year. The percentage of unemployed in Massachusetts is only 6.7%.
Mean household income: $66,259
Total Population: 1,392,313
Hawaii has had a booming economy for the last two years, with an increase of over $3,000 in median household income. Only 11.6% of its people live below the poverty line. Despite all of that, the cost of living in Hawaii is quite expensive compared to the national average.
Mean household income: $67,276
Total Population: 3,590,347
In at number four we have Connecticut, which leads the nation in percentage of households earning over $200,000. But on the down side, more than 3 million of its residents are unemployed.
Mean household income: $67,712
Total Population: 731,449
Alaska is known to have the second-lowest poverty rate in the United States thanks to a jobless percentage has been below the national rate for more than four years in a row. Although the median cost of a home in Anchorage in 2013 was still below $200,000, housing costs did increase there during the recession.
2. New Jersey
Mean household income: $69,667
Total Population: 8,864,590
The average household income of the people of New Jersey is about $70,000, and yet the middle class and poor people of the state are struggling. In fact, the amount of families living in poverty jumped from 6.4% to 8.2% last year.
Mean household income: $71,122
Total Population: 5,884,563
Maryland is current the richest state in America, and the fourth wealthiest metropolitan area in the United States, with the average Maryland household pulling in more than $70,000 annually.