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: $75,297
> Population: 6,811,779 (15th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 3.7% (10th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.4% (9th lowest)
The typical Massachusetts household earned $75,297 in 2016, a substantial increase from the state’s one year ago’s income of $71,146 and far more than the national median of $57,617. One reason for the rising incomes in Massachusetts may be the state’s improving job market. While 4.9% of the state’s labor force was unemployed in 2015, the jobless rate fell to 3.7% in 2016 — one of the largest improvements of any state. The share of Massachusetts adults with a bachelor’s degree also rose from 41.5% to 42.7%, still the largest share of any state.
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.