Do you wonder where your state ranks in wealth? The past decade has seen a series of ups and downs in the economy of the United States and some states have fared better than others.
We've chosen the states that have the greatest prosperity as determined by several factors for inclusion in our top 20 list. The methodology that we've employed include states that have the highest median household income as the leading factor in determining wealth of the state.
In addition to this, we've included the states with the highest home values, domestic gross product per capita and the amount of of taxes that have been paid to the state per person to develop an overall picture of the wealth of the state. In accordance with these statistics, here are the 20 Richest states in the USA.
20. Vermont - Median household income: $56,990
Vermont is the 20th richest state in America. It ranks the second lowest state in population with 626,042 people who live there. Of these citizens, 36.9 percent of them have an education level of at least a bachelor's degree or higher.
This is believed to be a contributing factor in the low unemployment rate of just 3.7 percent, which is the ninth lowest in the nation, and the low poverty rate of 10.2 percent, which places the state as the fourth lowest in the nation.
The average household in Vermont, brings in an annual household income of $56,990, which is approximately $1,200 more than the rest of the country. The median home value in Vermont is $249,000.
19. Rhode Island - Median household income: $58,073
Rhode Island is ranked as the 19th richest state in the US. It has the 8th lowest population with 1,056,298 people residing in the state. Of these, 6 percent are not employed for the tenth highest unemployment rate in the nation.
The state struggles with a lack of employment opportunities and this has resulted in a higher number of households relying on food stamps and other state funded financial assistance for a total of 16.2 percent of households receiving food stamps which is the tenth highest rate in the US.
Because of the high unemployment, the poverty rate for the state is 13.9 percent which is the 25th lowest in the nation. The median household income of $58,073, which makes the income for the state slightly higher than the $55,775 which is the typical income for the rest of the nation. The median home value in the state of Rhode Island is $181,800.
18. Illinois - Median household income: $59,588
Illinois is one of the larger states in the nation when it comes to population. It is the fifth highest, but the unemployment rate is estimated at 5.9 percent making it the 12th highest. Illinois is managing its resources well as it has one of the better distributions of wealth throughout the state.
It's a fairly affordable state to live in with home values hovering at $180,300, which is ten thousand below the national average of $194,500. The unemployment rate in this densely populated state is 5.9, making it the 12th highest in the nation with a poverty rate of 13.6 percent, for the 23rd lowest in the nation.
The higher typical household income in the state is attributed to the higher education attainment rate, with 32.9 percent of adults living in the state who have earned at least a bachelor's degree or higher.
17. Wyoming - Median household income: $60,214
Wyoming is a state that has the lowest population rate in the nation with just 586,107 residents in the large state that is known for its wide open spaces. The unemployment rate is the fifteenth lowest in the nation at just 4.2 percent, with an 11.1 percent poverty rate, landing it in the position of being the tenth lowest in America.
One of the more remarkable things about Wyoming is that just 26.2 percent of adults have attained at least a bachelor's degree or higher. While higher education levels are generally associated with higher income levels, this is not the case for Wyoming. The typical household income of $60,214 is higher than most other states in the nation.
Although the job market has worsened for the rest of the country, the income levels in Wyoming have risen and are significantly higher than they were in previous years. The median home value in the state is $198,700, making home ownership more affordable than in many other states in the nation.
16. North Dakota - Median household income: $60,557
North Dakota has the fourth lowest population level of any state in the nation with just 756,927 people living there. The state has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at just 2.7 percent with an 11 percent poverty rate, which is the ninth lowest in the United States.
There is a small percentage of households in North Dakota who depend on state assistance and food stamp programs with just 6.9 percent of households participating in the programs.
This is significantly less when compared with the rest of the nation. North Dakota has an extremely strong job market which is a major contributing factor to the higher income levels.
The typical household income of $60,557 per year is almost $5,000 more than the average American household. While the state is doing well economically, it has not seen much of a change over the past few years and this is attributed to persistently low oil prices as one of the major factors.
The median value of homes in North Dakota is $201,500, making it slightly more expensive to be a homeowner in this state, but the higher income levels offset this difference adequately from a statistical standpoint.
15. New York - Median household income: $60,850
The state of New York has the fourth highest population in the nation with 19,795,791 people living there. The unemployment rate is the twenty third highest in the country at 5.3 percent.
New York is known for having a median household income that is fairly high, coming in at around $5,000 more than the national stats for other states, but the higher poverty rate of 15.4 percent makes the state the seventeenth highest in this figure. This makes New York the leading state in the country for income inequality.
Not everyone in New York benefits from the higher median income levels. The national average poverty rate is lower at 14.7 percent, clearly showing the disparity between the haves and the have nots.
One of the reasons for this problem is that the cost of living in the state is higher than in many other states in the nation. The cost of goods and services is far more expensive, by 15.7 percent when compared with the rest of the country.
This makes it harder for people in lower income brackets to make ends meet. With a median home value of $373,075, it is more difficult to purchase a home in the state, forcing many to pay extremely high rent, which takes a significant portion of their income, leaving little left for other living expenses.
14. Delaware - Median household income: $61,255
The state of Delaware has the sixth lowest population concentration in the nation with just 945,934 people living there. The unemployment rate is the twenty second lowest in the nation at 4.9 percent.
Residents of Delaware enjoy a significantly higher typical household income, that is around $6,000 higher than the national average, but this has driven the cost of home ownership up, with income levels staying the same for the past few years, but the value of homes has risen to $240,200, which places it as a state in the higher bracket for home ownership.
In Delaware, the number of people who have earned at least a bachelor's degree or higher is at 30.9 percent and this is reflected in the higher median income levels. This is close to the national average, coming in a few percentage points higher than the national average of 30.6 percent. Delaware has the 18th lowest poverty rate at just 12.4 percent.
13. Utah - Median household income: $62,912
Utah has the twentieth lowest population rate with 2,995,919 persons living in the state. The typical household income is more than $7,000 above the national average, and the unemployment rate is 3.5 percent, making it the fifth lowest in the country.
This is below the statistics for the rest of the country. Utah is ranked as the twelfth lowest for its 11.3 percent poverty rate. The combination of the low poverty percentages and high income levels shows that Utah is fortunate to have the lowest occurrence of income inequality in the nation. It is a prosperous state and the residents enjoy a strong job market.
The home value in Utah on average is at $329,900, making it one of the most expensive states in the country to purchase a new home, but this is offset by the low unemployment and poverty rates and the higher income levels.
12. Minnesota - Median household income: $63,488
Minnesota is a state with the 21st highest population ranking with 5,489,594 residing there. The prosperous state enjoys a higher median household income of $63,488 compared to the national statistic of $55,775 for the rest of the nation.
This is the leading factor in making it the twelfth richest state in the country. In addition to this, the 3.7 percent unemployment rate is the ninth lowest in the nation, and the 10.2 percent poverty rate makes it the fourth lowest in the US. A remarkable 34.7 percent of the residents of Minnesota have attained at least a bachelor's degree or higher, which is believed to contribute to the higher income levels.
With low poverty and unemployment rates and high incomes, Minnesota is one of the most prosperous states in the country. The average cost of purchasing a home is $209,800, which is higher than the national average, but is offset very well by the other positive economic factors in the state.
11. Colorado - Median household income: $63,909
The mountainous state of Colorado has the twenty second highest population ranking in the nation with 5,456,574 people residing there. In recent years, there has been a rise in median household income in the state and a decrease in the number of households depending on food stamp assistance.
The typical household income rose by more than two thousand dollars in just two years and currently, only 8.4 percent of the households receive food stamps. The unemployment rate is 3.9 percent which makes Colorado the tenth lowest state, and the fourteenth lowest in poverty with a rate of 11.5 percent of the population.
The job market in the state has been strengthening and the statistics for the unemployment rate show that it is on a downward trend. The average cost of purchasing a home in Colorado is $340,000.
10. Washington - Median household income: $64,129
Washington state has the thirteenth highest population numbers in the nation with 7,170,351 living there. The typical household income is high at $64,129 per year, but overall, the state struggles with the fifteenth highest unemployment rate at 5.7 percent and it is the seventeenth lowest state in the nation for poverty with 12.2 percent of the residents falling below the established income threshold for poverty.
The higher income levels are attributed to the high 34. 2 percent of adults possessing at least a bachelor's degree. This in turn, is driving up the value of homes in teh state with the average home value of $284,000. The state is running at a nearly three percent higher food stamp recipiency rate.
9. California - Median household income: $64,500
California has the highest population of all states in the nation with 39,144,818 people living there. There is an obvious disparity in the distribution of wealth in the state. Although it has a high typical household income level, the poverty rate is the nineteenth highest at 15.3 percent.
This is remarkably high in light of the fact that the unemployment rate is 6.2 percent making it the 7th highest in the nation. While some of the richest persons in the country reside in the state, it's difficult for those who fall under poverty guidelines to make ends meet.
Because of the high incomes, the home values are more than twice as high as purchasing a home in other areas of the nation. The median home value in California is $449,100, making it difficult for those earning an average income to become homeowners.
In addition, the cost of living is estimated to be 14.7 percent higher as this is the difference in the cost of goods and services in the state.
8. Virginia - Median household income: $66,262
The state of Virginia has the twelfth highest population in the country with 8,382,993 people living there. The typical household income is much higher than the national average and this is believed to be because a remarkable 37 percent of adults in the state have earned at least a bachelor's degree or higher.
This places it among six states with the highest percentages of adults with college degrees. Statistics also show that there is a higher number of households in the state who earn at least $200,000 per year and a lower number who earn $10,000 per year or less. Virginia has an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent which is the 17th lowest in the country, and a poverty rate of 11.2 percent, making it the 11th lowest.
The job market in the state is relatively healthy. The median home value is $259,700, which is among the higher ones in the nation, but when compared with the typical household income, the two even one another out nicely.
7. New Hampshire - Median household income: $70,303
The state of New Hampshire has the tenth lowest population numbers with just 1,330,608 people living there. The typical household income is almost $15,000 higher than the median household income in the rest of the country at $73,303.
This in turn has driven the home values up with the average cost of purchasing a home in the state at $244,500, making the state one of the more expensive places to purchase a home.
The state has the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the nation at just 3.4 percent and it shines even more for having the lowest poverty rate in the entire country at just 8.2 percent.
When it comes to educational levels achieved, New Hampshire has some impressive statistics. Of all the adults in the state, 35.7 percent have earned at least a bachelor's degree, with many going higher, and an amazing 93.1 percent of the residents are high school graduates.
This is linked with the higher typical household income. New Hampshire is the home of many prestigious school districts and institutions of higher education.
6. Massachusetts - Median household income: $70,628
The state of Massachusetts has the fifteenth highest population concentration in the nation with 6,794,422 people living there. It has the twenty fourth lowest unemployment rate of 5 percent and the fourteenth lowest poverty rate of 11.5 percent.
Massachusetts is the home to several of the nation's most prestigious institutions of higher learning. the degree attainment rate for the state is the highest in the nation at 41.5 percent of all adults earning at least a bachelor's degree.
Ten percent of all households in the state earn $200,000 per year or more. The median value of a home is $352,100, which makes Massachusetts one of the most expensive states in the country to purchase a home.
5. Connecticut - Median household income: $71,346
Connecticut is a state that has the twenty second lowest population numbers with 3,590,886 people living there. The typical annual household income is the fifth highest in the nation at $71,346.
In the same situation as Massachusetts, ten percent of the households in the state bring in at least $200,000 per year for total household income. The unemployment rate is the eighteenth highest at 5.6 percent with the sixth lowest poverty rate in the country at 10.5 percent.
There is a relationship between the 38.3 percent of all adults earning a bachelor's degree or higher and the considerably larger household income levels. This is nearly 8 percent higher than the national average. The median value of homes in Connecticut is $270,900.
4. New Jersey - Median household income: $72,222
New Jersey has the eleventh highest population count of all states in the country with 8,958,013 people living there. Nearly eleven percent of the households in the state have annual incomes that exceed $200,000 per year.
The state has the eighteenth highest unemployment rate at 5.6 percent, and is the eighth lowest in poverty with just 10.8 percent of the population being jobless. Higher education is highly valued in New Jersey with 37.6 of all adults residing there holding at least a bachelor's degree.
If you want to buy a home in New Jersey, the median value of a house is $322,600 which makes it one of the most expensive states to purchase a home. In addition to this, the cost of living in the state is 14.5 percent higher than the national average.
3. Alaska - Median household income: $73,355
The state of Alaska has the third lowest population of all states in the nation with just 738,432 people living there. It is the third richest state in the country thanks to its generous distributions of natural resources.
The oil industry is alive and well in the state, in addition to mining, forestry, fishing and agriculture. Alaska has an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent which is the fourth highest in the country, but the 10.3 percent poverty rate is the fifth lowest of all states.
Although the state is the third richest, it is estimated that nearly fifteen percent of the residents do not have health insurance coverage, making it the second highest in these disturbing figures. The median home value in Alaska is $255,000.
2. Hawaii - Median household income: $73,486
The state of Hawaii has the eleventh lowest population numbers of all the fifty states in the nation with just 1,431,603 people officially residing there. By far, one of the most beautiful places to live in the US, the state is a popular choice for the wealthy who wish to purchase luxury homes on the island.
In fact, it has the highest median home value of $556,900. Because the state is a very large tourist attraction in itself, the unemployment rate is the sixth lowest at just 3.6 percent.
This shows that thanks to the agriculture and tourist attractions, the job market is healthy and going strong. Hawaii enjoys having the seventh lowest poverty rate with just 10.6 percent of the population falling under the national guidelines.
1. Maryland - Median household income: $75,847
The state of Maryland is the richest state in the nation with the highest median household income. It ranks number nineteen for having the highest population numbers with 6,006,401 people living there. In addition to this, it has the second lowest poverty rate of just 9.7 percent.
Over 38 percent of all adults residing in Maryland have earned at least a bachelor's degree, increasing their earning potential. The high number of government workers in the state account for some of the highest paying jobs in the nation, and help to drive the median income levels so high.
The unemployment rate is the twenty fourth highest at 5.2 percent. The median home value in Maryland is $433,000 and this is due to the high median household income levels.
As with any other state, there are homes for sale that are more affordable, as well as those that are more expensive. Maryland stands currently as the richest state in the nation, largely due to the high number of government agencies who employ the residents there.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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