The United States remains to be the wealthiest among 195 countries in the world. Credit Suisse in 2021 Global Wealth Databook indicates that it holds 30 percent of the global wealth totaling more than $126.3 trillion.
The superpower nation composed of 50 states is home to 40 percent of the world’s superlatively rich people. That is equivalent to 21.2 million individuals who have millions or billions of net worth.
But do you wonder which ones of its states have achieved prosperity and massive wealth and how it’s determined? Figures and numbers do tell. For one, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the states is the commonly used indicator. But it has a downside: it excludes income inequality. Mean Income Value, meanwhile, does not address the issue on income gap.
Hence, the median household is the best tool to rank the 15 richest states in the US. It measures the middle point between the highest income and the low income earners of a state.
The Richest States in America
- The Richest States in America
- Maryland – $90,203
- Massachusetts – $89,645
- New Jersey – $89,296
- New Hampshire – $88,465
- California – $84,907
- Hawaii – $84,857
- Washington – $84,247
- Connecticut – $83,771
- Colorado – $82,254
- Virginia – $80,963
- Utah – $75,780
- Alaska – $75,463
- Minnesota – $74,593
- New York – $72,108
- Rhode Island – $71,169
In 2021, the annual median household income in the country is pegged at $69,717. This figure is based on the most recent one-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
Maryland is the highest-performing state of the 15 richest states in the US with an annual median household income exceeding $90,000. The lowest-performing state, on the contrary, recorded a median household income of $48,716.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the top 15 richest states in the US according to the latest ranking.
Maryland – $90,203
With a median household income of $90,203, Maryland holds the no. 1 spot in the latest ranking of 15 richest states in America. The Old Line State, being adjacent to the nation’s capital, remains integral to the nation’s overall progress.
As of mid-2022, the state employs the highest percentage of federal workers compared to other states. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, about 520,000 people work in government in the state and has over 60 federal agencies.
Based on 2016-2020 Census Bureau estimates, Maryland’s Howard County is the 6th wealthiest county in the US with a median household income of $124,042.
It is further dubbed as aerospace and defense hotspot. It houses a slew of the country’s top aerospace companies including the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.
The Free State is home to the Chesapeake Bay famous for its blue crabs. Its major city of Baltimore is well-known as a historic seaport, cradle of the Ravens and Orioles, and birthplace of the national anthem.
Massachusetts – $89,645
World-famous for being the heart of higher education and health care, Massachusetts sits at no. 2 with a median household income of $89,645. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that as of mid-2022, it employs around 820,000 workers in the fields of education and healthcare services.
Add to that, Massachusetts also boasts its computer and electronic manufacturing industries. The state’s technology sector, meanwhile, has thrived and grown exponentially over the past few years.
Nicknamed the Bay State, it is home to Cape Cod, one of its famous bays where the Pilgrim Fathers established the Plymouth Colony. Exquisite beaches in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard make it as a top majestic haven for tourists.
Massachusetts also made a mark in the US history by being the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. It comes second to pass discrimination laws for the LGBTQ community.
New Jersey – $89,296
New Jersey holds a record of a median household income of $89,296, making it the 3rd of the 15 richest states in America.
Same data from the Census Bureau show that three of its counties, namely Somerset, Morris and Hunterdon are all listed as among the wealthiest ones in the US. Somerset, which is the lowest-ranking of the three has a median household income of $116,510.
Fondly called The Garden State, NJ is famous for its food, having the most number of diners than any other state. It is also known for its boardwalks, casinos, pristine nature, and magnificent beaches. New Jersey’s Atlantic City is home to the longest boardwalk in the world.
New Hampshire – $88,465
At no. 4 is the state of New Hampshire, having a median household income of $88,465. It yields high employment in healthcare and social assistance industry with 91,600 workers as of August 2022, according the data published by the state.
In early times, the state’s economy majorly relied upon paper mills from the bounty of its forests and grain mills. New Hampshire saw a downturn of its millwork in the 1900s, however, that it shifted to manufacturing for a while.
With the advent of advanced technology, The Granite State has utilized old mills and warehouses in smart manufacturing. High-tech industries is now the state’s largest sector which has mushroomed along the seacoast and Merrimack and Upper Valleys.
New Hampshire possesses enchanting lakes, valleys, rivers, and mountains to behold other than its 13-mile coastline of Atlantic Ocean. It is home to the majestic Mount Washington which stands tall in the White Mountains and the regal Lake Winnipesaukee inland resort.
California – $84,907
The sunny state of California ranks as the 5th richest state in the US with a median household income of $84,907. Its counties San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties belong to the wealthiest counties in America.
Nicknamed The Golden State, California is the most densely populated state in the nation. Its main economic drivers are the country’s biggest entertainment and fashion, real estate, and computer and electronic products manufacturing industries.
The city of Los Angeles is home to the brightest Hollywood film and television stars who are the top income earners in the world nonetheless. Tech giants in Silicon Valley, wine produce in Napa Valley, as well as the primordial Redwood and Sequoia forests also compound the state’s wealth.
In terms of tourism, California has picturesque landscapes that attract millions of visitors every year. Tourists bask in Yosemite National Park’s colossal rock formations and expansive forests featuring the giant Sequoias, the oldest and largest living things on the planet.
Hawaii – $84,857
Hawaii lands on 6th spot of 15 richest states in the US, having a median household income $84,857. Dubbed as tourists’ paradise, The Aloha State’s tourism serves as its economic pillar, creating most jobs on the islands.
Also, the Paradise of the Pacific has about 122,000 government workers as of the summer of 2022, Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests. This number is approximately one-fifth of Hawaii’s nonfarm workers employed in this sector.
The state comprises eight islands and is home to world-class beaches, volcanoes, mountains, and ocean. The 44th president of the US Barack Obama, elected in 2008 and 2012, was born in Honolulu.
Washington – $84,247
With a median household income of $84,247, Washington ranks as the 7th richest US state. Recent data indicates that majority of employment in the state are from the government sector. It accounts for more than 570,000 workers to date.
Meanwhile, the state’s military and defense trade comes second in providing jobs to more than 127,000 people of Washington. Hence, it is also considered as its economic powerhouse.
Some of the world’s iconic global brands such as Starbucks, the Boeing Co. and Microsoft Corp. originated in the state. Seattle is home to the skyscraper Space Needle which lights up the city’s velvet skies.
Washington is also one of the nation’s food baskets, producing 70 percent of the country’s apples and leading in milk and potato production and cattle raising.
Called The Evergreen State, Washington is the go-to destination for outdoor campers with its diverse landscape.
Connecticut – $83,771
Connecticut makes a median household income of $83,771 mainly from consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and insurance firms operating in the state. It houses the headquarters of key global brands such as including Pfizer, Amazon, Aetna, Cigna, and other 2021 Fortune 500 companies.
The state’s economy gets a major push from the rise of digital media. It becomes a hub of more than a thousand digital media-related companies, not to mention cable sports outfit ESPN.
Other main industries of The Constitution State are green technology, advanced manufacturing, bioscience, and higher education. It is home to Ivy League school, Yale University and 20 plus other prestigious colleges and universities.
Connecticut is home to plenty firsts such as first hamburger, color TV, helicopter, Polaroid camera and whatnot.
Colorado – $82,254
The state of Colorado makes a median household income of $82,254 where most jobs come from trade, transportation and utilities. These sectors provide employment to about 500,000 workers as of mid-2022.
In the past, Colorado thrived in agriculture, livestock, and mineral extraction. As of late, its billion-dollar tourism industry, technological advancement, and military presence have further bolstered the mountainous state’s economy.
Colorado stands out for its majestic mountains and has the highest mean elevation among 50 states. Tourists can either enjoy skiing in Aspen and Vail, or go for an outdoor adventure by traversing the Rocky Mountains or the Great Plains.
It is also the first state alongside Washington to legalize marijuana use. The fast-growing pot industry generated a whopping $387 million in tax revenue in 2020.
With a population of more than 5 million people, The Centennial State is the 22nd most populated state in the US today.
Virginia – $80,963
Virginia has a high median household income amounting to $80,963 to become the 10th wealthiest of the 50 US states.
Four of its counties are among the nation’s most affluent based on the latest five-year estimates from the American Community Survey. Loudoun County recorded a median household income of $147,111 in 2016-2020, making it the wealthiest county in America.
Shipbuilding, farming, apple and tobacco-growing, and bountiful seafood harvests, wineries, and the technology companies majorly propel the state’s economy.
As to its tourism, the Old Dominion State boasts its very own Shenandoah National Park which features the Blue Ridge Mountains. Outdoor buffs can experience several hiking trails within the park during summer and spring seasons. It is best to visit in October, though when it’s in its most beautiful autumnal colors.
Utah – $75,780
The state of Utah which is home to nearly 3 million people ranks 11th wealthiest in America. It makes an average family median household income of $71,621, exceeding the national average.
Utah marks a 3.5 percent unemployment rate, which is the sixth-lowest in the entire US. It actually shows a substantial employment market for its residents.
The Beehive State further has one of the lowest poverty rate at 11.3 percent and the lowest incidence of income disparity in the country.
Utah is called a hiker’s paradise because it is home to many national parks and extensive trail system. It is also famous for skiing in mountains near Salt Lake City that get covered with 500 inches of snow each year.
Alaska – $75,463
Alaska has recorded quite a consistent median household income kept within $75k range for the past few years. Currently, it has a $75,463 median household income.
Dubbed as the Last Frontier, Alaska has opulent natural resources. The state’s main driver is its oil industry, including mining, forestry, fishing and agriculture.
As to unemployment, Alaska keeps it at 6.3 percent since 2015 and it also one of 50 states with the lowest poverty rates at 10.34 percent.
The Great Land is home to astonishing landscapes, glaciers, and rare wildlife that it is hailed as one of top the tourist destinations on Earth.
Minnesota – $74,593
Minnesota is top 13 richest state with a median household income of $71,306. Its economy is majorly backed by the Food and Agriculture sector despite that less than 1 percent of its residents work in farming industry.
The state is home to more than of 5 million people, making it one of most populous areas in America. Over the years, it continues to be the nation’s biggest producer of sugar beets, green peas, and sweet corn as well as farm-raised turkeys.
Its unemployment rate is 9th-lowest at 3.7 percent while the poverty rate is10.2 percent, the 4th lowest in the US. Apparently, 34.7 percent of the residents of Minnesota have a bachelor’s degree or even a higher educational attainment which explains higher level of income of employees.
New York – $72,108
Home to a massive 19,795,791 residents, New York is top 14 richest state in the US with an estimated $68,486 median household income. The city that never sleeps builds its wealth from its major industries such as financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, business trade, and education.
Ironically, however, the state’s the unemployment rate hits 5.3 percent, holding the 23rd highest among other states. It also has 14.7 percent average poverty rate, indicating a wide gap between the rich and the poor.
New York has a higher cost of living wherein goods and services costs15.7 percent more compared to other states. Most New Yorkers can’t afford to buy a $373,000 house that they pay huge rent out of their salaries.
On a lighter note, the Big Apple is a popular tourist destination. Known for its towering skyscrapers like the Empire State and famous landmarks like Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, and Times Square, New York attracts more than 66 million visitors each year before the pandemic.
Rhode Island – $71,169
Rhode Island occupies the 15th spot of the 15 richest states in the US with a median household income of $71,169. The smallest state by area, it houses less than 1.1 million people as of 2020.
The state’s economy gets a major push from its billion-dollar tourism and transportation industries. Other main economic drivers of the state include healthcare, retail trade, and education.
Many of the residents living in Rhode Island previously depended on food stamps and state assistance due to low employment opportunities. In the recent years, however, Little Rhody has seen a drop in its poverty rate from 13.9 percent to 11.58 percent, alleviating its citizens’ overall well-being.