We used science and data to determine the richest states in America.
Money. It’s that green paper that helps us remember several important presidents. It’s that stuff that never seems to grow on any species of tree on our planet even after all of these years of wishful thinking.
Some people like it, some people love it, and some even hate it. Either way, you need some of it in your pocket at the end of the day to get where you want to be, and to acquire the things you need in life to survive and flourish.
So, if you’re considering moving for a new job, moving in general, or you’re just curious which states are the richest, you had better take a look at our data on the top 10 richest states in the United States of America.
We gathered all of our data from the 5 Year American Community Survey’s ranging from 2001-2006 through 2011-2015, the most recent data.
We looked at the median household income in each state for each of those ten years to decide which states were the wealthiest each year.
We then used a U.S. inflation calculator to turn all of the median household incomes (for each year from 2006-2014) into the equivalent of 2015 dollars. This enabled us to more accurately compare the median household incomes in 2006 for each state, to the median household incomes in 2015 for each state, and for all those years in between.
So, when I talk about the median household incomes from 2006 in this article below, those numbers have been inflation adjusted into the equivalent of 2015 dollars.
This also enabled us to more accurately track how much each state changed over the course of the ten years.
The top 10 richest states didn’t change drastically in the 10 years we analyzed the median household incomes, but there were slight changes nonetheless.
In 2006 Maryland-folk had a median household income of $76,609. That made it 2006’s richest state, but how much changed from 2006 to 2015?
The answer is not very much. In 2015 Maryland-ers had a median household income of $75,847 making it the US’s current champion, and richest state.
The median household income went down $762 dollars, but it was still a large enough number to retain its title belt.
Maryland and its waterways are starting to sound quite appealing, huh?
When you think of Hawaii you probably think of vacation, tropical foliage, beaches, Lilo and Stitch, and coconut drinks.
But, as it turns out, Hawaii is quite a beneficial place to live, as well as being a tropical paradise. Hawaii moved up from being the fourth richest state in 2006, to being the second richest state in 2015.
In 2006 the median household income was $71,924.
In 2015 it was $73,486. That’s an increase of $1,562 dollars.
Resting in the shade of palm trees and making $73,486 a year doesn’t look like a bad lifestyle…
I know, I know, it’s cold. But think about the northern lights, ice fishing, and sleigh dogs!
Alaska was our most drastically changed state, going from being the seventh richest state in 2006, to the third richest state in 2015.
Alaskan natives had a median household income of $69,846 in 2006.
That number increased to a whopping $73,355 by 2015.
So, if you’re looking to the future, your own patch of ice might be the way to go. The median household income in Alaska seems to only be rising.
New Jersey has been called “The Garden State” and “The Diner Capital of the World”. The light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture projector were invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park laboratory in New Jersey as well.
That sounds enticing (eggs and bacon on every corner), but can you make any money up north?
The answer is yes. New Jersey had a median household income of $75,816 in 2006 and $72,222 in 2015.
The amount decreased by $3,594 and New Jersey dropped from the second richest state to the fourth over the course of the ten years we analyzed.
Even though they dropped two places in the top ten, New Jersey is still a very profitable state to live in.
Connecticut is the home of the oldest U.S. newspaper that’s still being published, boasts the praying mantis as its state insect, and is the headquarters of the World Wrestling Federation.
If those three things didn’t instantly hook you, perhaps the amount of money Nutmeggers make each year will.
Connecticut had a median household income of $71,346 in 2015.
That’s a $3,238 decrease from their 2006 median, but still enough money to start your own wrestling foundation. Whether you decide to hire actors, or legitimate wrestlers is up to you.
Massachusetts was good enough for the Mayflower and the Pilgrims, surely you could live there too. Oh, there’s also the Boston Celtics, Fenway Park, and the city of Cambridge along the gorgeous Charles River.
Massachusetts had a median household income of $70,516 in 2006.
That number jumped up to $70,628 by the time 2015 rolled around.
If you enjoy delicious lobster and seafood chowder, and you don’t want to worry about your state’s median household income wavering in the next ten years, Massachusetts is a safe bet.
I know what you’re thinking, what is there to do in tiny, little New Hampshire? For one, you have to go check out the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. There you can refresh yourself with an ice cold beer, but you can also meet the famous Budweiser Clydesdales. You know, those giant, magnificent horses that weigh over 2,000 pounds.
New Hampshire slipped from the sixth richest state to the seventh from 2006 to 2015.
In 2006 the state had a median household income of $70,187. That grew to $70,303 by 2015.
Go see the state where Robert Frost lived, grab a beer at Anheuser-Busch Brewery, and kick back thinking about that lovely $70,000 household income that could be in your future.
It’s known as “the birthplace of a nation”. If that doesn’t make you want to live there then i don’t know what will.
Virginia was home to the very first English settlement in the US, Jamestown. It is also home to the largest office building (The Pentagon) in the world, and a massive tobacco industry.
The household median income seems to be steadily rising as well.
It went from $66,181 and the ninth richest state in 2006, to $66,262 and the eighth richest state in 2015.
Virginia is slowly and steadily rising in the ranks. Perhaps next year it will breach the top five richest states in our country.
California boasts the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood, beaches, mountains, the tallest tree in the world in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and 17 million gallons of wine produced each year.
The household median income in 2006 was $66,614. That number decreased by $2,114 from 2006-2015.
The median household income in 2015 was $64,500. California went from the eighth richest state in 2006 to the ninth richest state in 2015.
If you’re a mountain man, northern California is where you want to be. And if you’re a beach bum, there’s a massive coastline for you to explore. California has solidified itself as a financially stable state to live in.
If rain makes you happy, relocate to Seattle right now. Washington is the only state to be named after a US President, Jimi Hendrix was born there, and there’s even a revolving restaurant atop the Space Needle (500 feet above sea level).
Washington was never in the top ten richest states before 2015, and it barely edged Colorado out in 2015 for the tenth spot, with a median household income of $64,129.
In 2006, Washington’s median household income was $61,837.
Washington’s household median income is on the rise, so if you always select the underdogs, or the up-and-comers on your march madness basketball bracket, Washington is your state.
We have now analyzed the top ten richest states in the country. The top ten has altered some over the course of ten years, but for the most part it’s stayed relatively the same.
Maryland has never faltered from the number one slot, from 2006 to 2015. It’s 2015 median household income was $75,847.
Minnesota is the only state from 2006 that dropped out of the top ten entirely. Washington took its tenth spot with a $64,129 median household income.
The rest of the states from the 2006 top ten are all still in the top ten, just jumbled around a little.
Whether you want to become an ice-fisherman and check out the northern lights in Alaska, or take a shot at that acting career in Hollywood, there’s a rich state out there for you.
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