West Virginia Is Among the States Where People Make the Least Money


Severe inflation continues to plague the U.S. economy, and higher prices have been particularly hard to bear on those with lower pay. While incomes have been generally rising, they have not matched inflation, eroding real wages.

According to census data released in September, the typical U.S. household income was $69,717 in 2021, about $4,000 higher compared to 2019, the last time the Census released an annual American Community Survey, having skipped a year due to data collection problems tied to the pandemic.

While the median income increased nationwide, in many states, wages did not rise to the same degree and remain far lower than average.

The latest census data shows that the typical household in West Virginia earns $51,248 per year, the second lowest median household income among states, and $18,469 less than the national median.

Home values are often a reflection of what local populations can afford, and just as incomes are lower than average in West Virginia, so, too, are home values. The typical home in the state is worth $143,200, below the national median home value of $281,400, according to the 2021 ACS.

Rank State Median household income ($) Median home value ($)
1 Mississippi 48,716 145,600
2 West Virginia 51,248 143,200
3 Louisiana 52,087 192,800
4 Arkansas 52,528 162,300
5 Alabama 53,913 172,800
6 New Mexico 53,992 214,000
7 Kentucky 55,573 173,300
8 Oklahoma 55,826 168,500
9 South Carolina 59,318 213,500
10 Tennessee 59,695 235,200
11 Missouri 61,847 198,300
12 North Carolina 61,972 236,900
13 Ohio 62,262 180,200
14 Indiana 62,743 182,400
15 Florida 63,062 290,700
16 Montana 63,249 322,800
17 Michigan 63,498 199,100
18 Kansas 64,124 183,800
19 Maine 64,767 252,100
20 Wyoming 65,204 266,400
21 Iowa 65,600 174,400
22 South Dakota 66,143 219,900
23 Nevada 66,274 373,000
24 Idaho 66,474 369,300
25 North Dakota 66,519 224,400
26 Georgia 66,559 249,700
27 Nebraska 66,817 204,900
28 Texas 66,963 237,400
29 Wisconsin 67,125 230,700
30 Pennsylvania 68,957 222,300
31 Arizona 69,056 336,300
32 Delaware 71,091 300,500
33 Oregon 71,562 422,700
34 Illinois 72,205 231,500
35 Vermont 72,431 271,500
36 Rhode Island 74,008 348,100
37 New York 74,314 368,800
38 Minnesota 77,720 285,400
39 Alaska 77,845 304,900
40 Utah 79,449 421,700
41 Virginia 80,963 330,600
42 Colorado 82,254 466,200
43 Connecticut 83,771 311,500
44 Washington 84,247 485,700
45 Hawaii 84,857 722,500
46 California 84,907 648,100
47 New Hampshire 88,465 345,200
48 New Jersey 89,296 389,800
49 Massachusetts 89,645 480,600
50 Maryland 90,203 370,800

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