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    The typical American household earns $61,000 a year. Here are 15 states where the typical resident earns even less.

    A tavern in Fort Gay, West Virginia. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
    • US Census Bureau data shows the median income for every state in the US.
    • There are some patterns among the states with the lowest median incomes in the country: Many are clustered in Appalachia, the South, and the Midwest. 
    • On the other end of the spectrum, see the 17 states where the typical resident earns more than the national median.
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    The average American household earns about $61,000 per year, according to Census data. 

    But the typical resident of many US states earns less than that.

    According to the US Census Bureau 's 2017 data on each state's median income, 15 states are at the bottom of the list. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of them also reached the top of the Census Bureau's list for the highest poverty rates . 

    Only one New England state, Maine, makes the bottom 15, while states in Appalachia, the South, and the Midwest tend to dominate. The states with the lowest incomes tend to be clustered together geographically, and it shows just how unequally wealth is distributed across the US. 

    These are the 15 states with the lowest incomes in the US.

    15. Missouri

    St. Louis, Missouri. Shutterstock

    Missouri's poverty rate is much lower than many states on this list, but with the 15th-lowest income in the US, it's not a very wealthy state

    Median household income: $56,885

    Poverty rate: 11.3%

    14. Nevada

    Nevada desert. William Ducklow/Shutterstock

    With low incomes, Las Vegas and Reno's home state isn't particularly a high roller. 

    Median household income: $56,505

    Poverty rate: 12.3%

    13. Tennessee

    Memphis, Tennessee. The Old Major/Shutterstock

    Tennessee's low costs of living don't quite make up for the state's lower incomes. 

    Median household income: $55,240

    Poverty rate: 13.7%

    12. Oklahoma

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Shutterstock

    Oklahoma's median household income is far lower than the national average. 

    Median household income: $55,006

    Poverty rate: 13.8%

    11. South Carolina

    Charleston, South Carolina. Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

    Coastal cities like Charleston might make South Carolina seem opulent, but the state's high poverty rate shows another side. 

    Median household income: $54,971

    Poverty rate: 14.6%

    10. Florida

    A Florida beach. Mark Winfrey/Shutterstock

    Florida might be a favorite of retirees and Miami a draw for millionaires, but the whole state isn't necessarily sharing the wealth. 

    Median household income: $53,681

    Poverty rate: 14.3%

    9. Maine

    Acadia National Park, Maine. Shutterstock/David William

    Maine's high costs of living, combined with lower incomes, doesn't necessarily help the state's already high poverty rate.

    Median household income: $51,664

    Poverty rate: 12.3%

    8. Kentucky

    Kentucky farms. Alexey Stiop/Shutterstock

    Kentucky's high poverty rate and low incomes put the Bluegrass State at number eight. 

    Median household income: $51,348

    Poverty rate: 16.4%

    7. Alabama

    Mobile, Alabama. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

    Alabama's poverty rate is lower than Kentucky's, but so is the median income. 

    Median household income: $51,113

    Poverty rate: 15.8%

    6. North Carolina

    Wikimedia Commons

    Despite having bigger cities and a bustling commerce scene, North Carolina has lower incomes than its southern sister, South Carolina.

    Median household income: $50,343

    Poverty rate: 14.4%

    5. Arkansas

    The Ozark Mountains. Shutterstock

    The first state on the list with a median household income that doesn't reach the $50,000 mark, Arkansas has a low household income. 

    Median household income: $48,829

    Poverty rate: 15.6%

    4. New Mexico

    A road in New Mexico. shutterstock/James Orndorf

    New Mexico's deserts and mountains are stunning, but this state also has a high poverty rate. 

    Median household income: $47,855

    Poverty rate: 18.7%

    3. West Virginia

    Fort Gay, West Virginia. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

    Once known as "coal country," West Virginia's economy has suffered as mines have shut down. 

    Median household income: $45,392

    Poverty rate: 16.6%

    2. Louisiana

    New Orleans, Louisiana Jorg Hackemann/Shutterstock

    While best known for opulent New Orleans, Louisiana's poverty rate is actually the highest in the nation. Nearly a fifth of the state lives in poverty. 

    Median household income: $43,903

    Poverty rate: 20.0%

    Liz Knueven

    Personal Finance Reporter

    Liz was a reporter at Insider, primarily covering personal-finance topics.  Before joining Insider, she wrote about financial and automotive topics as a freelancer for brands like LendingTree and Credit Karma.  She earned her bachelor's degree in writing from The Savannah College of Art and Design. She lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio. Find her on Twitter at @lizknueven .

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    More: Wealth Poverty South Income Disparity

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    What are the lowest paying states?
    The two states with the lowest minimum wage are Georgia and Wyoming, both sitting at $5.15; however, employers in Georgia and Wyoming that are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must still pay the $7.25 Federal minimum wage. more
    What state pays the lowest?
    The two states with the lowest minimum wage are Georgia and Wyoming, both sitting at $5.15; however, employers in Georgia and Wyoming that are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must still pay the $7.25 Federal minimum wage. more
    Which state has lowest homeless population?
    States with the least homelessness
    • North Dakota. Number of homeless people: 541. Share of homeless people in shelters: 93.72% Share of homeless people as a percentage of the total population: 0.07%
    • Wyoming. Number of homeless people: 612. Share of homeless people in shelters: 79.90%
    • South Dakota.
    What state is the lowest pay for teachers?
    Missouri teachers are paid some of the lowest starting salaries in the nation, according to a new review of teacher pay from the National Education Association, a teachers union. On average, starting salaries for Missouri teachers are a little more than $33,200. Only Montana pays new teachers less. more
    What state has the lowest unemployment pay?
    Mississippi has the lowest maximum unemployment benefits in the U.S. of $235 per week, while Massachusetts has the highest at $823. more
    What state has lowest property taxes?
    Hawaii 1. Hawaii. Hawaii has the lowest effective property tax rate in the country, but it does cost to live in paradise. It is one of the most expensive states to live in and has the highest median home value, which means that the actual dollar amount homeowners spend is on the high side. more
    What state has lowest rent?
    Housing costs in Mississippi are the lowest in the nation. The median price for a single-family home in Mississippi is $140,818, and the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $777. Mississippi also has the lowest transportation costs in the nation. more
    What state has lowest crime?
    States with the Lowest Crime Rates
    • Maine. Maine has the lowest crime rate of 1,360.72 incidents per 100,000 people.
    • New Hampshire. New Hampshire has the second-lowest crime rate in the United States of 1,361.76 incidents per 100,000.
    • Idaho.
    • New Jersey.
    • District of Columbia.
    • New Mexico.
    • Alaska.
    • Louisiana.
    What is Walmart's lowest pay?
    Walmart's minimum wage will rise to $12, from the $11 hourly base it set in 2018. However, that is lower than the $15-per-hour minimum rate at rivals Target and Amazon. The federal minimum wage is $7.25. more
    What state has lowest federal taxes?
    Connecticut ranks as the state least reliant on the federal government. Less than 32% of the revenue collected by the Connecticut state government comes from the federal government. That's the eighth-smallest percentage across all 50 states. more
    What state has lowest lifespan?
    Among the 50 states, Mississippi has the worst average life expectancy in the country. People residing in the Hospitality State are living on average to an age of 74.4. more


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