The U.S. Census Bureau released on Wednesday new data from its 2016 annual population survey — with largely positive findings. Most notable among the survey’s findings is the significant increase in U.S. median household income between 2014 and 2016 — more than in any two-year period on record.
Not only did incomes go up nationwide, but the share of uninsured Americans and the share of Americans facing serious financial hardship declined. This year’s data release marks the first time in nearly three decades that income, health insurance coverage, and poverty all improved for two consecutive years.
> Median household income: $56,907
> Population: 12,784,227 (6th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 5.4% (9th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.9% (23rd lowest)
Pennsylvania’s median household income increased very slightly between 2015 and 2016, rising by $700 to $56,907. The state’s relatively high unemployment rate of 5.4% would suggest lower incomes, but the typical state household earns only $700 less than the national median household income.
Serious financial hardship is also less common in Pennsylvania than it is nationwide. Some 12.9% of state residents live below the poverty line compared to 14.0% of Americans nationwide.
Despite such improvements on the national scale, income inequality in the U.S. remains high and incomes vary dramatically from state to state. 24/7 Wall St. ranked all 50 states according to the newly released median household income figures. Many of the poorest states in the country are concentrated in the South, while many of the wealthiest are coastal states in the West, mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions. The typical household in the wealthiest state earns over $37,000 more a year than the typical household in the poorest state.