The percentage of people living in poverty across the U.S. (2008 – 2017)

The map below presents data on income and poverty in the U.S. based on information collected in the 2018 and earlier Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements conducted by the Census Bureau.

The Poverty Rate of Each State
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Top ten U.S. states with the highest levels of poverty today (2017)
1. Mississippi – 19.8%
2. Louisiana – 19.7%
3. New Mexico – 19.7%
4. West Virginia – 19.1%
5. Kentucky – 17.2%
6. Alabama – 16.9%
7. District of Columbia – 16,6%
8. Arkansas – 16,4%
9. Oklahoma – 15,8%
10. South Carolina – 15,4%

Top ten U.S. states with the lowest levels of poverty today (2017)
42. Iowa – 10.7
43. Virginia – 10.6
44. Massachusetts – 10.5
45. Colorado – 10.3%
46. Utah – 9.7%
47. Connecticut – 9.6%
48. Minnesota – 9.5%
48. Hawaii – 9.5%
50. Maryland – 9.3%
51. New Hampshire – 7.7%

Median incomes were highest in the West ($67,517) and the Northeast ($66,450), followed by the Midwest ($61,136) and the South ($55,709).

Average state poverty rate: 2008 – 10.1%, 2012 – 15.2%, 2017 – 13.1%

Summary of Findings
– Real median household income increased 1.8 percent between 2016 and 2017.1 This is the third consecutive annual increase in median household income
– The 2017 real median earnings of all male workers increased 3.0 percent from 2016, while real median earnings for their female counterparts saw no statistically significant change between 2016 and 2017.
– In 2017, the real median earnings of men and women working full-time, year-round each decreased from their respective 2016 medians by 1.1 percent.
– The number of men and women with earnings working full-time, year-round increased by 1.4 million and 1.0 million, respectively, between 2016 and 2017.3
–  The official poverty rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points between 2016 and 2017. This is the third consecutive annual decrease in the poverty rate.
–  The number of people in poverty in 2017 was not statistically different from 2016.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community survey

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