Median Household Income by State: 2022 Update
The Census Bureau's annual household income report for 2022 was published earlier this month. We've now compiled a few tables for the 50 states and DC based on the Current Population Survey, a joint undertaking of the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, which includes annual data from 1984 to 2022. The details are fascinating.
The median US income in 2022 was $74,580, up from $22,420 in 1984 — a 233% rise over the 38-year time frame. However, if we adjust for inflation chained in 2022 dollars, the 1984 median is $56,780, and the increase drops to 31%.
Peak Income Years
The peak annual median income for the US is off its 2019 peak. Here is an alphabetically sorted table showing the data for the 50 states and DC along with the US median data.
The alphabetical listing above makes it easy to find individual states, but for some additional insight, let's sort the data based on the decline from the peak year.
The median household incomes in 17 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have fared better than the US median as measured by the real percent declines from their respective peak years. A total of 33 states have suffered greater declines, with 14 states dropping more than 10%. South Dakota is the biggest loser, down 15.7% since its real median income peak in 2021.
Highest to Lowest Incomes
The next table sorts the data by the 2022 median income column. A quick look at this table shows the huge spread between the $108.2K median in Maryland and the $48.61K in Mississippi. Of course, the cost of living, which varies significantly across the country, is a critical factor in comparisons of the raw data, a topic we'll address in a separate commentary.
For an idea of the geographical/regional distribution of median incomes, here is a map that color-codes the states based on a quintile breakdown.
For the sake of comparison, here is the comparable map for the year 1984 in 2022 dollars.
21st Century Winners and Losers
We'll conclude this commentary with a comparison of the rankings of the 50 states and DC in 2000 and in 2020. The key column is the one labeled Change. Twenty-seven states plus the District of Columbia have risen in the rankings while 23 have declined. Keep in mind there are many economic and political factors underlying the changes in rank that are beyond our scope.
This article was originally written by Doug Short. From 2016-2022, it was improved upon and updated by Jill Mislinski. Starting in January 2023, AP Charts pages will be maintained by Jennifer Nash at VettaFi | Advisor Perspectives
- U.S. Household Incomes: A Multi-Decade Perspective
- Median Household Incomes by Age Bracket
- Household Incomes: Higher Ed
- Household Incomes: Middle Class
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