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: $52,334
> Population: 11,614,373 (7th highest)
> 2016 Unemployment rate: 4.9% (20th highest)
> Poverty rate: 14.6% (18th highest)
The median household income in Ohio climbed slightly from $51,610 in 2015 to $52,334 in 2016. The increase was not enough to meaningfully reduce the share of state residents facing serious financial hardship, however. The state’s 2016 poverty rate of 14.6% remained effectively unchanged from the previous year. Meanwhile, the U.S. poverty rate fell from 14.7% to 14.0% over the same period.
The state’s stagnant poverty rate may partially be the result of a stagnant job market. Ohio’s 4.9% annual unemployment rate has remained unchanged since 2015. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 4.9% over the same period.
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.