America’s Poorest States Struggle With Income Inequality


Adelle Platon / September 25, 2012

While Hip-Hoppers rap about their Jesus pieces and luxurious lifestyles, the rest of the country is struggling with low incomes.

According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday (Sept. 20), the median household income in the United States has declined for the second straight year. Income was $50,502 in 2011, more than 8% below the 2007 pre-recession peak, 24/7 Wall St. reports.

The median income ranged from $36,919 in Mississippi to $70,004 in Maryland, positions both states have held since before the recession. Vermont was the only state where median income increased.

Unsurprisingly, the poverty rates also remained high between 2010 and 2011. The percentage of Americans living below the poverty line increased in 17 states. Of the states with the lowest income, eight had high poverty rates. Mississippi had the highest poverty rate in the country, at 22.6% of residents, compared to the national rate of 15.9%.

A list of the poorest states was also revealed, pinpointing most locations in the South. The states that struggled with income inequality the most included Alabama, South Carolina, and New Mexico. Inequality was only high in three rich states: California, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The top three states with the lowest median income included Arkansas (MHI: $38,578), West Virginia ($38,482) and Mississippi ($36,919).

For the full list and statistics, click here.