US states with the highest median income

Are you curious about the average income in your federal state? Want to know if your state ranks among the richest or poorest cash-needing states in the nation? Below we give you a list of the states with the highest and lowest median incomes in 2021. We also look at the factors that influence the median income.

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Top ten states with the highest per capita income

Per capita income, or PCI, measures the level of income of a person in a nation or region. To determine which states have the highest incomes, we looked at the median PCI of their voters.

Below is the list of the richest states in the United States for 2021. We have also included the median per capita income in the following states.

  1. District of Columbia ($84,538)
  2. Connecticut ($79,087)
  3. Massachusetts ($74,967)
  4. New York ($71,400)
  5. New Jersey ($70,979)
  6. California ($66,661)
  7. Maryland ($65,683)
  8. Washington ($64,898)
  9. New Hampshire ($63,880)
  10. Wyoming ($63,316)

Some of the wealthiest states also have the highest median household incomes. Many of them are also the best educated states in the nation.

Ten states with the highest median incomes

Now let’s look at which US states have the highest median income.

  1. New Jersey ($114,691)
  2. Connecticut ($113,031)
  3. Massachusetts ($111,498)
  4. Maryland ($111,417)
  5. California ($106,916)
  6. Hawaii ($103,780)
  7. New York ($101,945)
  8. Virginia ($101,746)
  9. New Hampshire ($99,165)
  10. Washington ($98,983)

Top ten states with the lowest per capita income

Here are the states with the lowest PCI averages. Like the ten highest-income states in the US, we’ll include the median PCI in the list.

  1. Mississippi ($39,368)
  2. Western Virginia ($42,336)
  3. Alabama ($43,880)
  4. New Mexico ($43,984)
  5. Kentucky ($44,017)
  6. Arkansas ($44,845)
  7. South Carolina ($45,314)
  8. Idaho ($45,642)
  9. Arizona ($46,233)
  10. North Carolina ($47,803)

As in the previous list, the above states also have some commonalities. Some of them have the highest poverty rates. Many on the list also have the lowest educational outcomes.

Which factors influence the average income of a state?

Not everyone has the same opportunities for work. The same applies to the various US states.

As mentioned earlier, some states have higher literacy rates than others. When its constituents have access to education and training, they can make wiser decisions that affect their income.

Poverty is another related factor that affects a state’s median income because it dampens the growth of the market. Poor people tend to focus on short-term survival rather than investing in long-term business ventures. They buy the essentials instead of saving money to, for example, open a business or get an education.

Other factors affecting a state’s income include:

  • Infrastructure (functioning roads or sound power system)
  • population
  • The efficiency with which labor and capital are used
  • skills and attitudes of the workforce
  • community safety and security; and more


Knowing how rich or poor the state you live in is, can help you understand your place in it. For example, if you know you live well but are in one of the poorest states, you have a chance to help others improve. If you don’t see your state on the list, it falls somewhere between the richest and poorest states.

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