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: $56,565
> Population: 27,862,596 (2nd highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 4.6% (23rd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 15.6% (12th highest)
While college attainment tends to be a better indicator of income than high school attainment, states where a relatively high share of adults have a high school education also tend to have higher incomes. Texas has the second lowest high school attainment rate among adults, at just 82.9%, compared to the national share of 87.5% of adults. Still, rather than being extremely low, incomes in Texas are in line with the national figure. The typical Texas household earns $56,565 a year, roughly $1,000 below the national figure.
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.