Poorest State in America Revealed by the U.S. Census Bureau

    September 26, 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released estimates from its 2011 American Community Survey showing that Mississippi is the poorest state in the U.S., with a median household income of only $36,919. Last month it was revealed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that Mississippi is also the fattest state in the U.S.

West Virginia and Arkansas round out the top 3 poorest states, with $38,482 and $38,758 median household incomes respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum, the survey shows that Maryland has the highest median household income at $70,004. Alaska and New Jersey come next, with $67,825 and $67,458 medians respectively.

Overall, the the median for the U.S. is estimated at $50,502, down from before 2008. In fact, no state in the U.S. except for Vermont saw an increase in median household income last year. The median declined in 18 states, including Ohio and Nevada.

A correlation with these medians is found in the poverty statistics, which the American Community Survey also tracks. Mississippi, of course, has the highest poverty rate with 22.6% if its households living below the poverty line. New Hampshire has the lowest poverty rate, at 8,8%.

Health insurance rates among young adults are the third statistic released recently by the Census Bureau. The uninsured rate of young adults aged 19 to 25 actually increased to 71.8% in 2011, up from 68.3% in 2009. However, the rate for those age 26 to 29 declined from 71.1% in 2009 to 70.3% in 2011. Part of the reason for these seemingly conflicting statistics could be the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) in 2010, which allows young adult dependents to remain on their parents’ health insurance plan until they are 26.

“The American Community Survey provides reliable, local statistics about our nation’s people, housing and economy that are indispensable to anyone who has to make decisions about the future,” said Census Bureau Acting Director Thomas Mesenbourg.