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: $67,739
> Population: 39,250,017 (the highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 5.4% (9th highest)
> Poverty rate: 14.3% (20th highest)
California is one of the wealthiest states in the nation. Some 10.1% of households in the state earn over $200,000 a year, well above the 6.4% share of households nationwide. The median income across the state is $67,739 per year, about $10,000 more than the U.S. median. The state’s higher incomes are reflected in higher home values. The typical home in California is worth $477,500, more than in any state other than Hawaii.
The relatively large shares of high earners does not mean the state is without low income households, however. Some 14.3% of Californians live in poverty, roughly in line with the 14.0% U.S. poverty 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.