The U.S. Census Bureau released on Wednesday new data from its 2016 annual population survey — with largely positive findings. Most notable among the survey’s findings is the significant increase in U.S. median household income between 2014 and 2016 — more than in any two-year period on record.
Not only did incomes go up nationwide, but the share of uninsured Americans and the share of Americans facing serious financial hardship declined. This year’s data release marks the first time in nearly three decades that income, health insurance coverage, and poverty all improved for two consecutive years.
> Median household income: $53,558
> Population: 6,931,071 (14th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 5.3% (13th highest)
> Poverty rate: 16.4% (8th highest)
The concentration of poverty in a state often mirrors the state’s median household income ranking, but this is not always the case. Arizona has the 20th highest median household income of any state but the eighth highest poverty rate. The state’s relatively high unemployment rate could be contributing to the state’s high poverty rate. At 5.3%, Arizona’s jobless rate is 13th highest of all states and slightly higher than the U.S. 4.9% jobless rate.
Despite such improvements on the national scale, income inequality in the U.S. remains high and incomes vary dramatically from state to state. 24/7 Wall St. ranked all 50 states according to the newly released median household income figures. Many of the poorest states in the country are concentrated in the South, while many of the wealthiest are coastal states in the West, mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions. The typical household in the wealthiest state earns over $37,000 more a year than the typical household in the poorest state.