NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- New Hampshire is the state with the highest median income in the nation, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report.
The median household income in New Hampshire averaged a cool $65,028 annually over the past two years.
In Mississippi, the average household earned a median of just $35,693 per year in 2008 and 2009, 45% less than New Hampshire households and the lowest income of any state.
Not surprisingly, it also had the highest poverty rate, with one in five households living under the poverty line.
Those statistics, released Thursday, also indicate that four of the wealthiest states were located in the Northeast and, along with Maryland and Virginia, form a tight cluster of wealth.
New Jersey had the second highest average median income, at $64,918 and Connecticut ($64,644) the third.
The South had nine of the lowest median income states with Arkansas ($37,987) and West Virginia ($39,170) closely trailing Mississippi.
Only 12 states, plus the District of Columbia, recorded income gains compared with their 2006 and 2007 averages.
Utah ran up the biggest score, $3,651 per household, a 6.4% improvement. North Dakota had the biggest percent rise, 7.6% to $49,759.
The nation's biggest loser was Hawaii, where median income plunged $6,811 to $58,469 during the two-year period. The loss lowered its ranking four places to ninth.
But Georgia's whopping 13.1% loss of $6,710 to $44,696, made it the biggest loser.
None of these statistics reflect regional or local cost differences, which can be immense. A $50,000 salary in Manchester N.H., for instance, is roughly equivalent to one of $38,000 in Tupelo, Miss.
Former Wells Fargo hourly workers interviewed by CNNMoney say they were forced to stay late to meet crazy sales goals without being paid overtime required by federal law. More
China is no longer offering Venezuela new loans, according to experts. It spells bad news for Venezuela, which relied heavily on Chinese finance. More
Scientists believe that by using robots to study fecal matter, they can predict the spread of communicable diseases and influence health policy. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez writes about why the Labor Department introduced a new rule requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to workers. More