The results of the Census ACS survey reveals the average income for people in the United States. Many factors can influence the median household income across the nation during a given year. From the job market and the ratio of costs to profits to the state of the economy and everything else in between, average household income rates fluctuate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in 2019 was $65,712.
The amount of money that people bring into their households is directly correlated with the national economy, so depending upon the relationship between these two variables, median household income will either rise or fall from one year to the next.
Also, every state has residents who would be considered outliers when reviewing the ACS survey results conducted by the Census Bureau. To keep the survey results accurate, extremely wealthy people and people living at or below poverty are omitted from the survey's final findings. Otherwise, the report would not accurately reflect the median household income. Instead, the very large incomes and the very minimal incomes would offset the average.
The percent of change between annual household income rates over the years will give you an idea of how the country's economy was at that time.
States with the Highest Median Household Income
1. District of Columbia
The nation's capital, Washington, D.C., has the highest median household income in the United States of $92,266. The District ranks fourth among the nation's largest cities in median household income behind San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. However, incomes are not evenly distributed. D.C.'s black population's median income is $42,161, while the white population's was $134,358. Additionally, D.C.'s poverty rate is 13.5%.
Maryland's median household income is $86,738, making it the second-highest in the country. Unlike Washington D.C., Maryland's poverty rate is 9.0%, the third-lowest in the country behind New Hampshire and Utah. Maryland has an overall high level of educational attainment, with the second-highest percentage of graduate or professional degree holders and the third-highest percentage of Bachelor's degree holders, both contributing to its overall higher median income.
Massachusetts has the third-highest median household income of $85,843. Massachusetts is the most educated state in the U.S., with the highest percentage of Bachelor's degree holders and graduate and professional degree holders. These factors lead to an overall higher median income. Dover has the highest median household income in Massachusetts, where it sits at $204,018.
4. New Jersey
New Jersey has the nation's fourth-highest median household income. The median household income is $85,751 in New Jersey. New Jersey is also one of the nation's most educated states. The high median income is particularly helpful for those looking to live near New York City, as housing prices increase significantly the closer one lives to the city.
Hawaii's median household income is $83,102, making it the fourth-highest in the country. Hawaii's cost of living is the highest of all 50 states, especially in housing and groceries, since everything needs to be shipped out to the island state; therefore, the median household income needs to match the high cost of living. Hawaii also has a low unemployment rate of 2.7%.
California has the sixth-highest median household income in the U.S. of $80,440. California has one of the highest costs of living in the country. San Francisco has the highest incomes and the highest costs of living in the country. California's impressive tech and entertainment industries offer an abundance of high-paying jobs; however, its poverty rate is relatively high, at 11.8%.
Connecticut's median household income of $78,833 makes it the seventh-highest in the U.S. Connecticut is the fifth-most educated state in the U.S., with about 17.8% of adults 25-64 holding a graduate degree or professional degree. High-paying fields such as information and finance are common in Connecticut. Connecticut's poverty rate is about 10%.
Washington's median household income is $76,687, the eighth-highest. Washington is the country's seventh-most educated state, with 13.7% of adults having a graduate degree or professional degree. Seattle contributes to Washington's relatively high median household income. About half of the households bring six figures home, and the median household income is $102,486, the third-highest among the nation's largest cities.
9. New Hampshire
New Hampshire's median household income is $77,933, making it the ninth-highest in the United States. New Hampshire has the highest economic security of any state and boasts the lowest poverty rate in the country of 7.3%. Additionally, New Hampshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates among states of 2.6%. New Hampshire's top industries are manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism.
Colorado finishes the list of states with the highest median household incomes. The median household income in Colorado is $77,127. Colorado is the third-most educated state in the U.S., where 92% of residents have a high school diploma, and 15.1% have a graduate degree or professional degree. About 9% of households are considered high-income households, making over $200,000 a year.