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: $48,547
> Population: 6,651,194 (16th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 4.8% (25th highest)
> Poverty rate: 15.8% (11th highest)
Tennessee’s median household income remained effectively unchanged from 2015 to 2016. Meanwhile, the state’s poverty rate improved slightly from 16.7% to 15.8%, falling just outside the 10 states with the highest poverty rates. The share of families in the state receiving food stamps also declined, from 16% to 14.6%.
Low incomes across Tennessee are reflected in property values across the state. The typical Tennessee home is worth $157,700 — considerably less than the $205,000 median home value 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.