through the American Community Survey (ACS), the Census Bureau makes it possible to determine which are the 10 richest states in the United States. One of the main factors used for this classification is the median family income of households in those states.
The results are surprising and show that places like Alaska and Hawaii are right up there with the top 10. Let’s see them!
Top 10 richest states in the US
We have compiled a ranking of the 10 richest states in the United States. Each section contains relevant information, such as the median family income and the unemployment rate.
Maryland tops the list of the 10 richest states in the United States. This state benefits mainly from its proximity to the most powerful centers in Washington. And it is that, Maryland borders Washington DC on three sides. This makes it unsurprising that more than 1 in 10 Maryland workers are employed in the public service sector, earning a hefty salary that is typical of the federal government’s pay scale.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is, in fact, the largest employer in the United States and falls within the best places to work in maryland.
- Population: 6,052,177 (2017)
- Unemployment rate: 3.8% (August 2019)
- Median Household Income: $80,776 (2017)
- People below the poverty level: 9.3% (2017)
#2 New Jersey
Across the river from New York City, New Jersey ranks as the state with the highest population density in the country. Biopharmaceuticals, transportation, and manufacturing are the most popular industries in the state, although some of New Jersey’s wealthiest families are in the financial industry on Wall Street.
The figures report that a New Jersey family has more chances than anyone else of the other states to go on to form the list of millionaire households in the country. In fact, 13% of New Jersey families earn more than $200,000 annually.
Another statement that is impressive is the following: only 1 in 10 people in New Jersey lives below the poverty line. In education, almost 40% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree. This helps them work in niche industries and of course earn a coveted salary.
- Population: 9,005,644 (2017)
- Unemployment rate: 3.2% (August 2019)
- Median Household Income: $80,088 (2017)
- People below the poverty level: 10% (2017)
Hawaiian households are lucky to be among the least likely to fall into poverty. In addition, its workers also enjoy better employment stability. Barack Obama’s home state may be quite expensive to live in, but the burgeoning tourist economy has raised household incomes by far.
Defense is another important employability sector. And it is that, there are at least 75,000 workers of the Department of Defense of the United States living on these islands. About 17.3% of Hawaii’s workers are in other industries, such as arts, entertainment, recreation, hotels and restaurants; mainly because Hawaii is one of the country’s favorite tourist destinations.
Generally speaking, the Hawaiian economy works very differently than the other 49 states in the US. For example, shipping products to Hawaii is quite expensive, which makes their prices higher for consumers on the island. Another example? The House. The median home value in Hawaii is by far the highest in the country (+$100,000) at an average of $617,400.
- Population: 1,427,538 (2017)
- Unemployment rate: 2.7% (August 2019)
- Median Household Income: $77,765 (2017)
- People below the poverty level: 9.5% (2017)
According to the United States Census Bureau, Massachusetts has the highest percentage of residents with bachelor’s degrees. Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree tend to qualify for a wide range of careers, many of which pay the highest salaries in the country. Together with its universities – which are among the best in the world – the financial sector, technology and medicine are the main economic engines of the state.
- Population: 6,859,819 (2017)
- Unemployment rate: 2.9% (August 2019)
- Median Household Income: $77,385 (2017)
- People below the poverty level: 10.5% (2017)
Connecticut is one of the few states in the country that reflects a poverty rate below 10% (9.6%). Workers in this state are more likely to be professional compared to others, at least to work in high-paying fields such as the world of information and finance.
As such, Connecticut has the second highest percentage of households with assets convertible to more than one million dollars. Its unemployment rate is close to the national average, something that could be attributed to the fact that the unemployed are less likely to work in lower-paying fields, such as agriculture or transportation.
- Population: 3,588,184 (2017)
- Unemployment rate: 3.6% (August 2019)
- Median Household Income: $74,168 (2017)
- People below the poverty level: 9.6% (2017)
#6 New Hampshire
Economic security in New Hampshire is undoubtedly one of the highest in the country. Of all the states on our list, New Hampshire has the lowest percentage of people living below the poverty line. This is combined with a fairly low unemployment rate. What are the main economic sectors in New Hampshire? Manufacturing, health care, and tourism.
- Population: 1,342,795 (2017)
- Unemployment rate: 3.8% (August 2019)
- Median Household Income: $73,381 (2017)
- People below the poverty level: 7.7% (2017)
Fortunately, Alaska’s oil dividends have increased the average income of their families to $2,072 per person according to figures reported in 2015, being one of the highest in the nation. Understandably, tourism and fishing have helped fuel this strong economy.. However, there are several key indicators that show that the overall picture is not so good.
Unfortunately, the income the state average (per family) is $73,181, which is $3,259 less than the previous year. To give you an idea, no other state in the country dropped more than $1,300 in the same time period. What’s more, Alaska doesn’t have a good unemployment rate. In fact, it is the highest in the country..
- Population: 739,795 (2017)
- Unemployment rate: 6.2% (August 2019)
- Median Household Income: $73,181 (2017)
- People below the poverty level: 11.1% (2017)
Thanks to its growing and thriving technology economy, California is positioned as one of the 10 richest states in the United States. Much of California’s reputation is also based on the entertainment industry, centered, of course, in Los Angeles.
The plenty of good paying jobs The median income of Golden State households increased, although unemployment and poverty rates are not the most flattering.
- Population: 39,536,653 (2017)
- Unemployment rate: 4.1% (August 2019)
- Median Household Income: $71,805 (2017)
- People below the poverty level: 13.3% (2017)
Virginia adults are among the most privileged. Why do we say it? Because they tend to have -at least- a bachelor’s degree or more. This allows them to participate in well-paid jobs, thus increasing your chances of enjoying a very lucrative career. The unemployment rate in Virginia it is below the national average, a good point for the state. In fact, Virginia has a large number of jobs and contractors in the government sector, many of whom travel to Washington DC from the northern part of the state.
Virginia’s largest employer is the United States Department of Defense. Putting aside government jobs in Northern Virginia, technology and information sectors also stand out.
- Population: 8,470,020 (2017)
- Unemployment rate: 2.8% (August 2019)
- Median Household Income: $71,535 (2017)
- People below the poverty level: 10.6% (2017)
The median home value in Washington is $339,000, which is the fifth highest in the country. If you think about it, this figure is $120,000 above the national average. Of course, this means that your income level per capita or per family is possibly quite high.
Yet despite its high median income and low poverty rate, Washington reports one of the highest unemployment rates in the country (4.6%) this according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
So that you can compare it, note that the national average was positioned at 3.7% as of July 2019.
- Population: 7,405,743 (2017)
- Unemployment rate: 4.6% (August 2019)
- Median Household Income: $70,979 (2017)
- People below the poverty level: 11% (2017)