America's wealthiest (and poorest) states

By Les Christie, staff writer


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.

The top 10 wealthiest states
Where median income is highest
Rank State Median Income
1 New Hampshire $65,028
2 New Jersey $64,918
3 Connecticut $64,644
4 Maryland $63,828
5 Alaska $62,675
6 Virginia $61,126
7 Utah $60,396
8 Massachusetts $59,732
9 Hawaii $58,469
10 Washington $58,404
Source:U.S. Census Bureau
The bottom 10 poorest states
Where median incomes are lowest
Rank State Median Income
1 Mississippi $35,693
2 Arkansas $37,987
3 West Virginia $39,170
4 Tennessee $40,034
5 South Carolina $41,548
6 Montana $41,587
7 Kentucky $41,828
8 Alabama $42,144
9 North Carolina $42,337
10 Louisiana $42,423
Source:U.S. Census Bureau

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.

Best Places to Live

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.

Compare cost of living in two cities

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.

A Mississippian earning $38,000 can live about as well as a New Yorker in pricey Manhattan with a salary of more than $93,000. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,804.71 -238.19 -1.40%
Nasdaq 4,422.09 -71.30 -1.59%
S&P 500 1,946.16 -26.13 -1.32%
Treasuries 2.40 -0.10 -4.19%
Data as of 8:30pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.82 -0.23 -1.35%
Ford Motor Co 14.59 -0.18 -1.22%
Facebook Inc 76.55 -2.49 -3.15%
Apple Inc 99.18 -1.57 -1.56%
Cisco Systems Inc 25.03 -0.08 -0.34%
Data as of 4:03pm ET

Sections

In the last five years, pumpkin sales have risen 34% as people demand pumpkin in everything from beer to beef jerky. More

Facebook's chief product officer issued an apology to Sister Roma and the drag community on Wednesday for its flawed 'real name' policy. More

New York City launches a comprehensive site for all things related to its digital tech scene, Digital.NYC. More

For these seniors, the best retirement is not to retire. From a 102-year-old Wal-Mart worker to an activist park ranger, these workers have stayed on the job well into their golden years. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.