Average Household Income – Best & Worst States

The United States Census Bureau has officially released their American Community Survey (ACS) data, which included the median income by household, median home value, population, age, as well as some other tidbits by each state.  These data collections tend to provide useful insights into how our economy is growing and thriving as a whole.  We can also see that since the last income census, the numbers have improved.  Here’s the average income by state:

 

Top 10 States By Household Income

 

1) Maryland

  • Income: $80,776 
  • Age: 38.7
  • Home Value: $312,500
  • Home Value Rank: 9

 

2) New Jersey

  • Income: $80,008
  • Age: 39.8
  • Home Value: $334,900
  • Home Value Rank: 6

 

3) Hawaii

  • Income: $77,765
  • Age: 39.2
  • Home Value: $617,400
  • Home Value Rank: 1

 

4) Massachusetts

  • Income: $77,385
  • Age: 39.5
  • Home Value: $385,400
  • Home Value Rank: 3

 

5) Connecticut

  • Income: $74,168
  • Age: 40.9
  • Home Value: $273,100
  • Home Value Rank: 12

 

6) New Hampshire

  • Income: $73,381
  • Age: 43.2
  • Home Value: $263,600
  • Home Value Rank: 14

 

7) Alaska

  • Income: $73,181
  • Age: 34.5
  • Home Value: $273,100
  • Home Value Rank: 12

 

8) California

  • Income: $71,805
  • Age: 36.5
  • Home Value: $509,400
  • Home Value Rank: 2

 

9) Virginia

  • Income: $71,535
  • Age: 38.2
  • Home Value: $273,400
  • Home Value Rank: 11

 

10) Washington

  • Income: $70,979
  • Age: 37.7
  • Home Value: $339,000
  • Home Value Rank: 5

 

Maryland hits the top of the list at number one.  This is a fair rise compared to the 2010 census which had the median household income for Maryland at $69,272.  That’s an increase of +$11,504 per household.  Although Maryland ranks number one in household income, it only ranked 9th overall in household value.

Just making it to the top 10 list was the state of Washington, which was almost $10k less per household than the top earning state.  The overall value of homes in Washington beat out Maryland.

 

Bottom 10 States By Household Income

 

1) West Virginia

  • Income: $43,469
  • Age: 42.4
  • Home Value: $119,800
  • Home Value Rank: 50

 

2) Mississippi

  • Income: $43,529
  • Age: 37.5
  • Home Value: $120,200
  • Home Value Rank: 49

 

3) Arkansas

  • Income: $45,869
  • Age: 38.1
  • Home Value: $128,500
  • Home Value Rank: 48

 

4) Louisiana

  • Income: $46,145
  • Age: 36.8
  • Home Value: $162,500
  • Home Value Rank: 36

 

5) New Mexico

  • Income: $46,744
  • Age: 37.7
  • Home Value: $171,300
  • Home Value Rank: 32

 

6) Alabama

  • Income: $48,123
  • Age: 38.9
  • Home Value: $141,300
  • Home Value Rank: 44

 

7) Kentucky

  • Income: $48,375
  • Age: 38.9
  • Home Value: $141,000
  • Home Value Rank: 46

 

8) Oklahoma

  • Income: $50,051
  • Age: 36.6
  • Home Value: $137,400
  • Home Value Rank: 47

 

9) South Carolina

  • Income: $50,570
  • Age: 39.4
  • Home Value: $161,800
  • Home Value Rank: 37

 

10) Tennessee

  • Income: $51,340
  • Age: 38.6
  • Home Value: $167,500
  • Home Value Rank: 35

 

The biggest loser – West Virginia.  They ranked the lowest in household value too.

Interestingly, they also ranked the 4th oldest state by median age.  Not much has changed compared to the previous year at $43,385 – only a difference of +$84.

The bottom 3 states had the same rankings for both household value and household income – West Virginia, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

10th from the bottom was Tennessee making the difference to last ranked state at -$7,871.

 

Other Stats & Final Thoughts

 

The gap between the top earning state and bottom is significant at $37,307.  West Virginians are at a disadvantage when it comes to earnings as they only earn 53.8% of the top state of Maryland.  They’re also a few years older on average.  However, they don’t have to worry about paying as much for their mortgages since their household values are only 38% as compared to Maryland.

The census had also included Washington D.C. but it seems to be unfair to include it as it’s not an actual state and the income is the highest, beating out Maryland.

Utah didn’t make the list at #13, but it’s also the youngest state with a median age of 31 leaving it with plenty of room to grow.

On the flip side, the oldest median age for a state was Maine with an age of 44.6 and they ranked fairly low at #31 in median household income.

Overall, it seems we are on a positive trend.  If you’re looking to make a little more money, it seems D.C and Maryland are your best bets, but expect that you’re also going to be paying more for a home.

If you’re looking for the best “bang for your buck” then you may consider Iowa – Why?  Because Iowa has the best ratio of income to household value at 39.3%, the worst being California at 14.1%.  Even Business Insider ranked Iowa for the top places to retire at #4.

 

2 thoughts on “Average Household Income – Best & Worst States

  • September 19, 2018 at 6:22 am
    Permalink

    The tricky thing about statistics is what can be useful from an investing or entrepreneurial perspective is hyperlocal. We’re aiming to achieve FI via real estate investing and virtual businesses, and while we have chosen to do that from a NYC home base and investments in states not named above, I could also see potentially doing what we do in New Mexico, South Carolina, or Tennessee (3 states in the bottom 10). So there’s opportunity anywhere, even lower-income states.

    Reply
    • September 19, 2018 at 9:53 am
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      Good luck on the ventures! Real estate is definitely a tricky business (not that I have any true experience), but as long as you do the due diligence, it should pay off. I’m hoping to dip into the rental business in the next year, but keeping that to the local market since I know the areas already.

      Reply

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