DQYDJ Logo

Average Income by State plus Median, Top 1%, and All Income Percentiles in 2019

Written by:
PK
American flag on a fence with forest and snow in background

In this post I estimate household income by state and individual income by state statistics for the United States in 2019. All your favorite summary income statistics are here: average income by state for households or individual workers, plus the median income and top 1% income for the same divisions.

Income is pre-tax (gross) income earned between January and December 2018, for comparison.

We also have aggregated research on household income and individual income.

Household Income by State

Household income – appropriately – leads our income by state roundup. Total earnings in a household best determine a household's potential standard of living, even if you usually only compare individual incomes. While individual income is interesting to benchmark, households with multiple earners can (and often do) make significantly more money than single earner households.

Let's kick it off with a look at average household income per state, then move on to median, and top 1% household earnings per state. You can find more on household income percentiles here.

Average Household Income by State

Choropleth of Average Household Income by State in 2019

Average household income is a common benchmark to seek, but please note that it is skewed by high earning households. Countrywide, the average household income was $89,930.70 in 2019.

(On its own, that would be the 65th household income percentile.)

Enough caveats – the following table lists the average household income for every state and Washington, D.C. in 2019:

StateAverage Household Income
Alabama$70,090.35
Alaska$91,268.57
Arizona$87,823.18
Arkansas$68,079.14
California$102,375.47
Colorado$98,129.07
Connecticut$103,865.55
Delaware$93,957.11
District of Columbia$127,263.58
Florida$78,433.46
Georgia$79,797.68
Hawaii$108,561.68
Idaho$77,877.59
Illinois$97,212.04
Indiana$78,056.95
Iowa$86,231.80
Kansas$84,168.27
Kentucky$80,547.15
Louisiana$71,388.37
Maine$74,331.65
Maryland$108,787.55
Massachusetts$117,996.28
Michigan$82,676.47
Minnesota$96,785.18
Mississippi$60,922.93
Missouri$86,397.22
Montana$74,351.71
Nebraska$89,613.73
Nevada$83,997.52
New Hampshire$101,016.39
New Jersey$114,160.42
New Mexico$75,956.72
New York$102,330.23
North Carolina$75,741.17
North Dakota$86,102.51
Ohio$82,985.94
Oklahoma$74,872.16
Oregon$91,458.36
Pennsylvania$88,716.82
Rhode Island$92,008.88
South Carolina$80,500.78
South Dakota$84,257.55
Tennessee$79,019.22
Texas$84,470.84
Utah$100,221.80
Vermont$84,281.16
Virginia$105,791.79
Washington$106,407.57
West Virginia$66,563.23
Wisconsin$80,671.17
Wyoming$80,293.39

Median Household Income by State

Choropleth of Median Household Income by State in 2019

In many ways, median household income is a superior statistic when evaluating how American households are doing. Median household income means that half of all households earn more and half earn less, unlike the 65th percentile implied by average household income in 2019.

Across the entire United States, the median household income was $63,030.00 in 2019. That is $26,900.70 less than the average household income.

StateMedian Household Income
Alabama$49,396.00
Alaska$68,400.00
Arizona$62,311.00
Arkansas$49,778.00
California$70,001.00
Colorado$72,620.00
Connecticut$73,011.00
Delaware$65,002.00
District of Columbia$85,101.00
Florida$54,401.00
Georgia$56,000.00
Hawaii$80,000.00
Idaho$58,729.00
Illinois$70,000.00
Indiana$59,690.00
Iowa$68,844.00
Kansas$63,726.00
Kentucky$54,616.00
Louisiana$49,665.00
Maine$58,001.00
Maryland$86,051.00
Massachusetts$86,651.00
Michigan$60,002.00
Minnesota$72,070.00
Mississippi$43,000.00
Missouri$61,110.00
Montana$58,000.00
Nebraska$67,653.00
Nevada$61,900.00
New Hampshire$81,000.00
New Jersey$74,100.00
New Mexico$48,000.00
New York$67,105.00
North Carolina$52,943.00
North Dakota$66,005.00
Ohio$61,398.00
Oklahoma$54,005.00
Oregon$69,358.00
Pennsylvania$64,305.00
Rhode Island$62,341.00
South Carolina$57,090.00
South Dakota$59,344.00
Tennessee$55,601.00
Texas$59,703.00
Utah$76,613.00
Vermont$69,844.00
Virginia$76,786.00
Washington$79,801.00
West Virginia$50,180.00
Wisconsin$62,676.00
Wyoming$62,002.00

Top 1% Household Income by State

The top 1% is where folks popularly draw the line for the very affluent. These households earn more than 99% of all households in the United States so have significant ongoing earnings power.

Note that income is a flow of money, not a stock – income and net worth are not as well correlated as you'd expect. However, if a household can sustain a top 1% income for a long time and save appropriately they can expect to accumulate a significant net worth.

(Look at these as relative numbers and guesses; there are fewer data points near the top.)

StateTop 1% Household Income
Alabama$335,281.00
Alaska$401,604.00
Arizona$415,000.00
Arkansas$350,148.00
California$597,981.00
Colorado$426,343.00
Connecticut$677,055.00
Delaware$548,500.00
District of Columbia$729,629.36
Florida$436,046.00
Georgia$447,840.00
Hawaii$619,273.00
Idaho$347,116.00
Illinois$517,539.00
Indiana$353,823.00
Iowa$348,863.00
Kansas$359,150.00
Kentucky$670,000.00
Louisiana$358,663.00
Maine$289,702.00
Maryland$467,555.00
Massachusetts$620,009.00
Michigan$394,736.00
Minnesota$503,037.00
Mississippi$320,757.00
Missouri$456,017.00
Montana$396,140.00
Nebraska$408,462.00
Nevada$453,012.00
New Hampshire$425,431.00
New Jersey$802,295.00
New Mexico$626,116.00
New York$586,106.00
North Carolina$410,813.00
North Dakota$501,730.00
Ohio$409,093.00
Oklahoma$359,416.00
Oregon$423,436.00
Pennsylvania$455,002.00
Rhode Island$452,510.00
South Carolina$400,000.00
South Dakota$431,411.00
Tennessee$448,625.00
Texas$440,010.00
Utah$543,592.00
Vermont$341,268.00
Virginia$491,625.00
Washington$542,269.00
West Virginia$320,722.00
Wisconsin$307,966.00
Wyoming$360,509.00

Household Income by State Methodology

Like all of our income data this year, I make my income calculations on microdata from the United States Census Bureau’s Annual ASEC survey. Specifically, I use the harmonized data from the University of Minnesota.

Sarah Flood, Miriam King, Renae Rodgers, Steven Ruggles and J. Robert Warren. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 6.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2019. https://doi.org/10.18128/D030.V6.0

Household Income Data Quality and Households Per State

As we slice this data more and more there is – of course – a reduction in resolution. Every state has enough data to give a reasonable approximation for income – but this isn't as good as surveying 100% of households (like in a decennial census).

This next table shows the number of households in the survey per state, plus the number of households implied by those weighting for 2019.

StateSamplesEstimated Households
Alabama           1,399                    2,042,477
Alaska              783                       270,796
Arizona           1,148                    2,853,432
Arkansas           1,269                    1,196,808
California           6,260                  14,028,875
Colorado              867                    2,401,568
Connecticut              690                    1,428,409
Delaware              726                       382,098
District of Columbia           1,280                       324,060
Florida           3,292                    8,909,506
Georgia           1,572                    4,139,328
Hawaii           1,029                       485,036
Idaho           1,052                       686,778
Illinois           1,830                    4,987,733
Indiana           1,091                    2,706,641
Iowa              780                    1,269,266
Kansas              851                    1,148,825
Kentucky              754                    1,806,643
Louisiana           1,648                    1,900,332
Maine              524                       574,834
Maryland              837                    2,351,706
Massachusetts           1,354                    2,760,267
Michigan           1,524                    4,168,664
Minnesota              874                    2,404,058
Mississippi           1,322                    1,169,436
Missouri              897                    2,480,031
Montana           1,157                       449,799
Nebraska              812                       752,294
Nevada              944                    1,193,024
New Hampshire              819                       542,568
New Jersey           1,359                    3,278,378
New Mexico           1,349                       823,790
New York           2,830                    7,621,894
North Carolina           1,660                    4,390,949
North Dakota              947                       316,584
Ohio           1,605                    4,684,656
Oklahoma           1,036                    1,566,449
Oregon              989                    1,725,868
Pennsylvania           1,744                    5,167,733
Rhode Island              621                       440,005
South Carolina           1,167                    2,083,180
South Dakota              766                       351,861
Tennessee           1,338                    2,723,529
Texas           4,079                  10,678,939
Utah              965                    1,032,470
Vermont              841                       265,566
Virginia           1,268                    3,373,009
Washington           1,243                    2,934,048
West Virginia           1,351                       739,569
Wisconsin              883                    2,423,652
Wyoming              919                       237,067

Individual Income by State

While household income is a better measure of affluence, individual income is a fairer way to compare between people. By default, individual income is normalized – while there are cost of living differences, there's no comparing a one-earner family in Oklahoma to a hacker house in San Francisco (or whatever other wacky scenario you can dream up).

Just like with household income, let's lead off with the average individual income by state then talk about the median and top 1%. You can find more information on individual income statistics here.

Average Individual Income by State

Choropleth of Average Individual Income by State in 2019

Once again, I have to warn you - average income is skewed by higher earners. The average individual income in America in 2019 was $58,379.45. That income would put someone in the 66th percentile of individual earnings – so only 1/3 of American workers make more.

Here's how the average individual income by state shakes out:

StateAverage Individual Income
Alabama$50,286.94
Alaska$55,590.93
Arizona$54,678.99
Arkansas$47,713.22
California$62,695.45
Colorado$62,712.11
Connecticut$69,556.64
Delaware$56,161.81
District of Columbia$90,013.72
Florida$53,993.12
Georgia$54,689.97
Hawaii$61,800.56
Idaho$48,007.86
Illinois$61,957.40
Indiana$50,842.49
Iowa$51,763.54
Kansas$54,065.48
Kentucky$57,752.29
Louisiana$52,349.35
Maine$48,797.00
Maryland$64,840.89
Massachusetts$72,352.63
Michigan$54,632.12
Minnesota$61,072.55
Mississippi$44,913.28
Missouri$56,185.39
Montana$48,907.27
Nebraska$55,698.77
Nevada$53,713.09
New Hampshire$58,939.52
New Jersey$72,209.43
New Mexico$53,023.63
New York$66,265.72
North Carolina$51,939.19
North Dakota$55,285.00
Ohio$54,406.06
Oklahoma$49,770.21
Oregon$58,556.37
Pennsylvania$57,129.88
Rhode Island$61,366.45
South Carolina$54,595.77
South Dakota$55,242.63
Tennessee$52,518.60
Texas$55,079.66
Utah$54,636.20
Vermont$52,407.50
Virginia$68,058.62
Washington$65,265.92
West Virginia$47,398.82
Wisconsin$50,101.16
Wyoming$53,248.20

Median Individual Income by State

Choropleth of Median Individual Income by State in 2019

Again, median individual incomes are a better measure for most scholarship. For anyone in the workforce, median income means half of people make more while half make less – it's more representative than simple average income.

Here's the median income by state for every state plus D.C:

StateMedian Individual Income
Alabama$36,444.00
Alaska$41,601.00
Arizona$40,000.00
Arkansas$35,050.00
California$40,501.00
Colorado$46,000.00
Connecticut$49,051.00
Delaware$39,025.00
District of Columbia$65,011.00
Florida$37,002.00
Georgia$36,000.00
Hawaii$45,001.00
Idaho$35,010.00
Illinois$43,010.00
Indiana$38,001.00
Iowa$38,600.00
Kansas$39,000.00
Kentucky$38,561.00
Louisiana$38,110.00
Maine$40,135.00
Maryland$50,000.00
Massachusetts$50,100.00
Michigan$40,001.00
Minnesota$45,301.00
Mississippi$33,501.00
Missouri$41,000.00
Montana$36,350.00
Nebraska$40,533.00
Nevada$37,590.00
New Hampshire$45,010.00
New Jersey$50,000.00
New Mexico$33,085.00
New York$44,160.00
North Carolina$36,325.00
North Dakota$40,200.00
Ohio$40,100.00
Oklahoma$36,000.00
Oregon$42,000.00
Pennsylvania$40,014.00
Rhode Island$42,910.00
South Carolina$40,001.00
South Dakota$40,000.00
Tennessee$39,150.00
Texas$39,001.00
Utah$39,002.00
Vermont$42,051.00
Virginia$47,065.00
Washington$45,711.00
West Virginia$36,000.00
Wisconsin$40,000.00
Wyoming$40,012.00

Top 1% Individual Income by State

And of course, because it comes up so often, I also ran the numbers on top 1% individual incomes by state. To read this table, you would need to make this much (or more) as an individual to be the top 1% in a state.

(Be a bit more skeptical of these numbers, there are by definition fewer samples at the top).

StateTop 1% Individual Income
Alabama$265,011.00
Alaska$270,000.00
Arizona$286,400.00
Arkansas$250,602.00
California$373,295.00
Colorado$288,700.00
Connecticut$617,000.00
Delaware$345,825.00
District of Columbia$488,700.00
Florida$323,375.00
Georgia$301,587.00
Hawaii$436,119.00
Idaho$223,013.00
Illinois$400,000.00
Indiana$256,050.00
Iowa$280,100.00
Kansas$298,401.00
Kentucky$452,500.00
Louisiana$263,400.00
Maine$244,090.00
Maryland$323,255.00
Massachusetts$413,489.00
Michigan$270,001.00
Minnesota$321,370.00
Mississippi$214,405.00
Missouri$290,050.00
Montana$261,600.00
Nebraska$275,342.00
Nevada$317,000.00
New Hampshire$280,400.00
New Jersey$500,002.00
New Mexico$600,152.00
New York$403,960.00
North Carolina$301,025.00
North Dakota$300,890.00
Ohio$302,505.00
Oklahoma$235,000.00
Oregon$323,176.00
Pennsylvania$350,000.00
Rhode Island$330,001.00
South Carolina$300,011.00
South Dakota$326,455.00
Tennessee$296,001.00
Texas$304,500.00
Utah$280,001.00
Vermont$242,277.00
Virginia$399,100.00
Washington$339,280.00
West Virginia$256,000.00
Wisconsin$215,198.00
Wyoming$307,810.00

Individual Income by State Methodology and Estimated Households

The sourcing is the same as above: microdata from the ASEC survey harmonized by the University of Minnesota.

Sarah Flood, Miriam King, Renae Rodgers, Steven Ruggles and J. Robert Warren. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 6.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2019. https://doi.org/10.18128/D030.V6.0

The art is in identifying "workers". Since this is data over an entire year, our workers measure will not match, for example, an individual month's employment survey.

Here's the criteria (each is an 'or'):

  • Match workforce variable (worked at some point in year)
  • Wanted or maybe wanted a job
  • Worked >= 1 hour in a typical week

For more on the screen, see our average individual income article.

Individual Income by State Data Quality and Estimated Workforce

Like with households, you sacrifice resolution when cutting your data into individual states. This table lists the number of samples which went into the estimates above, followed by the estimated workforce after weighting.

StateSamplesEstimated Workforce
Alabama          1,663                  2,403,134
Alaska          1,141                     391,436
Arizona          1,585                  3,832,031
Arkansas          1,569                  1,440,085
California          9,379                20,593,202
Colorado          1,265                  3,330,240
Connecticut             939                  1,856,757
Delaware             994                     531,313
District of Columbia          1,637                     429,285
Florida          4,086                10,705,854
Georgia          2,054                  5,475,473
Hawaii          1,519                     753,890
Idaho          1,523                     948,359
Illinois          2,668                  6,954,686
Indiana          1,480                  3,659,576
Iowa          1,204                  1,849,207
Kansas          1,189                  1,551,594
Kentucky             902                  2,184,025
Louisiana          2,013                  2,256,518
Maine             686                     733,900
Maryland          1,302                  3,616,401
Massachusetts          2,069                  4,086,509
Michigan          2,020                  5,339,887
Minnesota          1,287                  3,415,512
Mississippi          1,508                  1,349,644
Missouri          1,227                  3,264,765
Montana          1,526                     559,361
Nebraska          1,220                  1,103,871
Nevada          1,328                  1,627,421
New Hampshire          1,270                     828,917
New Jersey          1,927                  4,681,244
New Mexico          1,636                  1,000,500
New York          3,911                10,532,290
North Carolina          2,179                  5,569,233
North Dakota          1,350                     436,074
Ohio          2,145                  6,235,759
Oklahoma          1,376                  1,999,904
Oregon          1,391                  2,262,081
Pennsylvania          2,367                  6,854,472
Rhode Island             808                     579,228
South Carolina          1,450                  2,618,224
South Dakota          1,083                     466,572
Tennessee          1,791                  3,549,916
Texas          5,735                14,894,517
Utah          1,621                  1,683,083
Vermont          1,171                     362,474
Virginia          1,795                  4,648,299
Washington          1,889                  4,273,467
West Virginia          1,596                     850,299
Wisconsin          1,274                  3,424,813
Wyoming          1,200                     302,339

Diving Deep on State Incomes

While we do have an income percentile by state calculator, this is the first time we've systematically approached income by state research.

(Apologies for the oversight!)

State is a reasonable breakdown, however. States are so-called "laboratories of democracy" and minor differences in laws have very different consequences for the cost of living – and incomes earned – from one state to the next.

It's hard to argue that a top 1% countrywide income in Wyoming vs. New York is the same thing. True, income percentile by city is even better. But state is a pretty good slice.

What's your take on the data?

Don't Quit Your Day Job...

DQYDJ may be compensated by our advertising and affiliate partners if you make purchases through links. See our disclosures page for more information.
Sign Up For Emails
© 2009-2020 dqydj.com
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram