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Southern States Among the Poorest in US


A house in Mississippi, where income levels are the lowest in the U.S.

A house in Mississippi, where income levels are the lowest in the U.S.

Southern states are some of the poorest in the U.S., while wealth lives mostly in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Mississippi is the nation’s poorest state, says the US Census Bureau. Most people earn around $39,680 a year.

Maryland ranks as the richest state, where most people earn around $73,971 a year.

In addition to Mississippi, the three poorest states include West Virginia and Arkansas. The poverty rate increased in 12 states. In America, 14.8 percent of the population, or 46.7 million people, were living in poverty in 2014.

Kentucky, the fifth poorest poor state, saw incomes decline in the previous year. The typical household earned $1,139 less in 2014 than in 2013.

In most U.S. states, income was the same in 2013 as 2014. It’s the fourth year in a row that poverty rates were not different from the previous year.

Household income was 6.5 percent lower in 2014 than in 2007, the year before the U.S. fell into its most recent recession.

New Jersey and Alaska rank at the top near Maryland. Three states -- Washington, North Dakota and Connecticut -- reported income increases of $2,000 in 2014.

AMERICA’S RICHEST AND POOREST STATES BY INCOME

50. Mississippi – $39,680 Poverty rate: 21.5%
49. West Virginia – $41,059 Poverty rate: 18.3%
48. Arkansas – $41,262 Poverty rate: 18.9%
47. Alabama – $42,830 Poverty rate: 19.3%
46. Kentucky – $42,958 Poverty rate: 19.1%
45. Tennessee – $44,361 Poverty rate: 18.3%
44. Louisiana – $44,555 Poverty rate: 19.8%
43. New Mexico – $44,803 Poverty rate: 21.3%
42. South Carolina – $45,238 Poverty rate: 18.0%
41. Montana – $46,328 Poverty rate: 15.4%

40. North Carolina – $46,556 Poverty rate: 17.2%
39. Florida – $47,463 Poverty rate: 16.5%
38. Oklahoma – $47,529 Poverty rate: 16.6%
37. Idaho -- $47,861 Poverty rate: 14.8%
36. Missouri – $48,363 Poverty rate: 15.5%
35. Ohio – $49,308 Poverty rate: 15.8%
34. Georgia – $49,321 Poverty rate: 18.3%
33. Indiana – $49,446 Poverty rate: 15.2%
32. Maine – $49,462 Poverty rate: 14.1%
31. Michigan – $49,847 Poverty rate: 16.2%

30. Arizona – $50,068 Poverty rate: 18.2%
29. South Dakota – $50,979 Poverty rate: 14.2%
28. Oregon – $51,075 Poverty rate: 16.6%
27. Nevada – $51,450 Poverty rate: 15.2%
26. Kansas – $52,504 Poverty rate: 13.6%
25. Wisconsin – $52,622 Poverty rate: 13.2%

24. Nebraska – $52,686 Poverty rate: 12.4%
23. Texas – $53,035 Poverty rate: 17.2%
22. Pennsylvania – $53,234 Poverty rate: 13.6%
21. Iowa – $53,712 Poverty rate: 12.2%

20. Vermont – $54,166 Poverty rate: 12.2%
19. Rhode Island – $54,891 Poverty rate: 14.3%
18. Wyoming – $57,055 Poverty rate: 11.2%
17. Illinois – $57,444 Poverty rate: 14.4%
16. New York – $58,878 Poverty rate: 15.9%
15. North Dakota – $59,029 Poverty rate: 11.5%
14. Delaware – $59,716 Poverty rate: 12.5%
13. Utah – $60,922 Poverty rate: 11.7%
12. Colorado – $61,303 Poverty rate: 12.0%
11. Washington – $61,366 Poverty rate: 13.2%

10. Minnesota – $61,481 Poverty rate: 11.5%
9. California – $61,933 Poverty rate: 16.4%
8. Virginia – $64,902 Poverty rate: 11.8%
7. New Hampshire – $66,532 Poverty rate: 9.2%
6. Massachusetts – $69,160 Poverty rate: 11.6%
5. Hawaii – $69,592 Poverty rate: 11.4%
4. Connecticut – $70,048 Poverty rate: 10.8%
3. Alaska – $71,583 Poverty rate: 11.2%
2. New Jersey – $71,919 Poverty rate: 11.1%
1. Maryland -- $73,971 Poverty rate: 10.1%

(List courtesy of 24/7 Wall Street)

This story was written by Dora Mekouar. It was adapted by Kathleen Struck.

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