The median yearly income in the U.S. is approximately $74,600, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve. Income disparity remains significant, with some earning vastly more while others remain in poverty.

To assess the financial well-being of Americans across the country, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia using three key metrics: the average annual income of the top 5%, the average for the bottom 20%, and the median for all residents.

“The highest-earning 10% of individuals in the United States earn over 12 times more than those in the lowest-earning 10%, based on the latest Census data,” said Cassandra Happe, a WalletHub analyst. “By measuring the income of various percentiles against a state’s median income, we can better identify where income disparities are more prevalent, helping us understand why residents of certain states struggle more to make ends meet.”

Utah ranks 6th overall across the three main metrics while Idaho ranks 28th. While there are some significant differences between Utah and Idaho in median incomes and the incomes of their top 5%, the two states are similar and score well when considering the lowest income earners, Utah ranking 1st and Idaho 5th.

Average annual incomes of the bottom 20% of income earners in Utah and Idaho, adjusted for the cost of living index, are $22,491 and $18,372 respectively. By contrast, the District of Columbia ranks dead last with average incomes of the bottom 20% at $9,011.

In the rankings, Utah stands out:

Overall Rank: 6th

  • Average Annual Income of Top 5%: $448,195 (ranked 17th overall)
  • Median Annual Income: $89,786 (ranked 15th overall)
  • Average Annual Income of Bottom 20%: $22,491 (ranked 1st in highest average annual income of bottom 20%)

Idaho also features in the rankings.

Overall Rank: 28

  • Average Annual Income of Top 5%: $403,737 (ranked 30th overall)
  • Median Annual Income: $70,041 (ranked 30th overall)
  • Average Annual Income of Bottom 20%: $18,372 (ranked 5th in highest average annual income of bottom 20%)

To determine where people have the best incomes, WalletHub compared the states based on three key metrics adjusted for the cost of living index (COLI):

  • Average Annual Income of Top 5% (Adjusted for COLI): Double Weight (~50.00 Points)
  • Median Annual Household Income (Adjusted for COLI): Full Weight (~25.00 Points)
  • Average Annual Income of Bottom 20% (Adjusted for COLI): Full Weight (~25.00 Points)

Data for this ranking was collected as of May 7, 2024, from the U.S. Census Bureau and Council for Community and Economic Research.



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