MississippiMedian household income in the United States declined for the second straight year in 2011, the Census Bureau reports -- falling more than 8% below its 2007 pre-recession peak.

While the trend is generally down, some states are faring far better than the average -- and, of course, some are faring far worse.

Interestingly, while most of the states with at the low end of the median income spectrum are suffering from weak economies, unemployment in and of itself was not a key factor. Only two states of the lowest 10 were also among the worst 10 for unemployment in 2011, and five of the worst-off states had unemployment rates lower than the national rate.

According to Brookings Institution fellow Elizabeth Kneebone, that disconnect isn't a surprise. "Earnings for middle and lower-wage workers have fallen or stagnated over time," Kneebone explained. "So you can have a situation where jobs are being created ... but the types of jobs matter. If those are jobs that pay low wages, even if you're working full time, that might not be enough to lift you above the poverty line."

These are America's richest states and poorest states.




To identify the states with the highest and lowest median household income, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed state data on income, poverty, and health insurance from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey (ACS). Based on Census treatment, median household income for all years is adjusted for inflation. We also reviewed unemployment data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and additional 2011 ACS data on individual cities. Because the cost of living has a direct bearing income, 24/7 Wall St. considered cost of living data for Q4 2011 from the Council for Community and Economic Research.


--- By Michael B. Sauter, Samuel Weigley, Brian Zajac and Alexander E. M. Hess

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Lift Putters

I'm so glad to live in New Hampshire the wealthiest state in America this was a choice of mine six years ago for the quality of life to live free and die attitude and too many more things to mention Stanley Krol NH

May 06 2013 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yug Dap

I don't think it has anything to do with Ideology. I am Canadian and our situation is the exact opposite as the one in the U.S. Over here, the wealthier and most prosperous provinces are the social conservative and economically right wing states such as Alberta and Saskatchewan while the poorest provinces are the left leaning ones that offer many social services like Quebec.

February 02 2013 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
freethinker

It's amazing to watch those on the Right jump through seemingly endless hoops to defend their failed economic theories. I've lived in the South all my life, but I'll be the first to admit that it lags far behind the rest of the nation in wages, overall health, educational levels, etc. Meanwhile states like NJ and VT are on the cutting edge of creating good jobs, not service or factory ones that pay less than 10 bucks an hour.

There are exceptions, of course. Some northeastern cities, such as Philly, are cesspools, and some of the more progressive southern states, like NC and VA,, have made huge strides in the last several decades. Charlotte is a great example of a southeastern city that is a magnet for all sorts of opportunity.

On the whole, however, the simple, indisputable fact is that there's a strong correlation between social backwardness and conservative views. And all the right can say in response is make shrill cries of, "Socialism!" What's funny is that most of the ones who do so are living on Medicare, which is the epitome of Socialism. But try to cut their taxpayer-funded benefits and they'll turn into angry welfare queens themselves in a heartbeat. So hypocritical, yet so predictable.

January 19 2013 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Thomasr

Incredible that people like kyrebs53.com spin the wheel and talk about debt instead of poverty. I have been to some of these southern states the poverty is breathtaking. Again, the right wing machine spinning the facts. I rode through downtown Louisville and was astounded at how old and run down the city was. I live in Portland Oregon and the city is stunning. Probably the most beautiful city I have ever seen outside of San Francisco. The right wingers just don't get it. These so called job creators will do just that in China or India wherever they can make the most. Their allegiance is to money not to the people of this country. Wake up before it is too late. The end is in site and you still won't acknowledge you played a major part in our demise.

November 01 2012 at 2:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Thomasr's comment
Billy Bob

your wrong about one thing..china and india arent taking your jobs...technology is. Your leftism shows youve never taken a business class especially advanced education in one....i'm sure your degree is in victorian poetry or something. The U.S is one of the most productive societies for the simple fact that Americans are willing to do more with less and are adaptable as to where the chinese do not adapt.

November 08 2012 at 10:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wireflight

WRONG! Median means the halfway point, in context with this article, between the lowest and the highest value extremes (of household gross income). If we imagine there is at least one household that had no income during the subject period, we can calculate the absolute maximum household income by simply doubling the median value.

As long as we interpret the data from the median, raising the period's absolute minimum household income will lower the absolute maximum household income by an equal amount; it is therefore impossible by an amount exceeding the difference of the median and such minimum, or by the equal difference between that median and such maximum, to either increase the period's absolute minimum household income or decrease the period's absolute maximum household income.

Assuming there was in MS at least one household having no income at all, the article claims there was not anywhere in MS at least one household having a combined gross annual income exceeding $73,838 -- an utterly absurd proposition when one considers the fact that a considerable number of Mississippians have personal incomes exceeding $1M per year, and a few of those cohabit.

Therefore (and for similar reasons regarding the data for the other states mentioned in the article), it seems the author intended in each case to state the "mean" (a synonym for "average") household income.

Axiomatically: to the degree and extent the median income exceeds the mean, the poor are unfairly persecuted; to the degree and extent an individual's income exceeds the mean, he or she is culpable for the plight of the poor; to the degree and extent the median exceeds an individual's income, that individual is poor.

The foregoing is not to suggest that all poverty so defined either can or ought to be eliminated, but it is to indicate the gluttony ubiquitous among the most fortunate is an abhorrent and gratuitously abusive condition that robs the less fortunate of the dignity rightly held and observed by each human, and which conveys through the power of piracy and policy, to those pompously preened, the purloined profits of their principled putrescence.

When privateers become profiteers, when protectionism is codified in laws flouted by the entrepreneurs whose empires they were passed to protect -- and when the enforcement of those laws evinces exactly such design, when excellence and innovation is suppressed in order to preserve the fortunes of dullards and parasites.

Until a spouse elects to no longer be married, there is perchance a Union worthy of effort to protect -- but when he or she is so convinced, there is no marriage left to save, and the procedural dissolution of their civil bonds is mere formality. The tyrant-masters have rent the honor-bonds of the common slaves who daily grovel for subsistence wages, yet they marvel for the groans of those once loyal now disaffected by their abuses.

Democrat or Republican matters not: each is the enemy of man.

October 02 2012 at 9:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wireflight

WRONG! Median means the halfway point, in context with this article, between the lowest and the highest value extremes (of household gross income). If we imagine there is at least one household that had no income during the subject period, we can calculate the absolute maximum household income by simply doubling the median value.

As long as we interpret the data from the median, raising the period\'s absolute minimum household income will lower the absolute maximum household income by an equal amount; it is therefore impossible by an amount exceeding the difference of the median and such minimum, or by the equal difference between that median and such maximum, to either increase the period\'s absolute minimum household income or decrease the period\'s absolute maximum household income.

Assuming there was in MS at least one household having no income at all, the article claims there was not anywhere in MS at least one household having a combined gross annual income exceeding $73,838 -- an utterly absurd proposition when one considers the fact that a considerable number of Mississippians have personal incomes exceeding $1M per year, and a few of those cohabit.

Therefore (and for similar reasons regarding the data for the other states mentioned in the article), it seems the author intended in each case to state the \"mean\" (a synonym for \"average\") household income.

Axiomatically: to the degree and extent the median income exceeds the mean, the poor are unfairly persecuted; to the degree and extent an individual\'s income exceeds the mean, he or she is culpable for the plight of the poor; to the degree and extent the median exceeds an individual\'s income, that individual is poor.

The foregoing is not to suggest that all poverty so defined either can or ought to be eliminated, but it is to indicate the gluttony ubiquitous among the most fortunate is an abhorrent and gratuitously abusive condition that robs the less fortunate of the dignity rightly held and observed by each human, and which conveys through the power of piracy and policy, to those pompously preened, the purloined profits of their principled putrescence.

When privateers become profiteers, when protectionism is codified in laws flouted by the entrepreneurs whose empires they were passed to protect -- and when the enforcement of those laws evinces exactly such design, when excellence and innovation is suppressed in order to preserve the fortunes of dullards and parasites.

Until a spouse elects to no longer be married, there is perchance a Union worthy of effort to protect -- but when he or she is so convinced, there is no marriage left to save, and the procedural dissolution of their civil bonds is mere formality. The tyrant-masters have rent the honor-bonds of the common slaves who daily grovel for subsistence wages, yet they marvel for the groans of those once loyal now disaffected by their abuses.

Democrat or Republican matters not: each is the enemy of man.

October 02 2012 at 9:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris and Bill

Why are republicans so angry at this data? The top earning states have a more educated populace in part due to the democrat emphasis on funding education. Republicans cut education funding and programs that assist their constituents getting aid for education. You get the government and life you support with your votes. So, again, why are republicans so angry with this data?

October 01 2012 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris and Bill

Why are republicans so angry at this data? The top earning states have a more educated populace in part due to the democrat emphasis on funding education. Republicans cut education funding and programs that assist their constituents getting aid for education. You get the government and life you support with your votes. So, again, why are republicans so angry with this data?

October 01 2012 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kyrebs53.com

Why are the two States that are the deepest in debt liberal NY and Ca? Why do the Swing states of Wis. Ind .Ohio, Virginia, Mich. have Republican leadership and are below the national avg. with unemployment ? Lima16 do your home work look at the mid west part of the nation. Despite Obozos failed policies they are prospering. Socialism doesn't work, you will run out of money at some point. There are poor states that is true, the restriction from the federal level cause much of the problem. States Rights and small Federal government would solve many problems. Obozo Socialism won't work in America, maybe in his little mind it might work if George Soros says so. Wake up America our country is dying the liberal left is regulating it to death. Liberal Lame stream media Yahoo, Aol, Msnbc, CBS and Abc are so biased is is really sad. Walter Chronkrite (sp) was a super liberal but he delivered the news not his views. Where is the trust in new now?

September 30 2012 at 11:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lima16

How come the poor states are Red conservative states.

September 28 2012 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply