- US Census Bureau data shows the median income for every state in the US.
- There are some patterns among the states with the lowest median incomes in the country: Many are clustered in Appalachia, the South, and the Midwest.
- On the other end of the spectrum, see the 17 states where the typical resident earns more than the national median.
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The average American household earns about $61,000 per year, according to Census data.
But the typical resident of many US states earns less than that.
According to the US Census Bureau‘s 2017 data on each state’s median income, 15 states are at the bottom of the list. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of them also reached the top of the Census Bureau’s list for the highest poverty rates.
Only one New England state, Maine, makes the bottom 15, while states in Appalachia, the South, and the Midwest tend to dominate. The states with the lowest incomes tend to be clustered together geographically, and it shows just how unequally wealth is distributed across the US.
These are the 15 states with the lowest incomes in the US.
Missouri’s poverty rate is much lower than many states on this list, but with the 15th-lowest income in the US, it’s not a very wealthy state.
Median household income: $56,885
Poverty rate: 11.3%
With low incomes, Las Vegas and Reno’s home state isn’t particularly a high roller.
Median household income: $56,505
Poverty rate: 12.3%
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Tennessee’s low costs of living don’t quite make up for the state’s lower incomes.
Median household income: $55,240
Poverty rate: 13.7%
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