U.S. median income down in 35 states

Sept. 25, 2011 at 10:44 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey indicates people might be buying less because they have fewer dollars coming in.

The survey, using data collected from Jan. 1, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2010, found median annual household income fell in 35 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia from 2009 to 2010, with the remaining 15 states showing no change in median household income.

The nationwide median income fell by 2.2 percent last year, but the median income dropped by more than 5 percent in seven states: Alaska at 5.2 percent, Arizona at 5.8 percent, Connecticut at 6.1 percent, Idaho at 5 percent, Nevada at 6.1 percent, Oregon at 5.5 percent and Vermont at 6.1 percent.

Twenty states have a median annual household income above the national figure of $50,046, with Maryland and New Jersey having the highest median household incomes, both $67,000 and above. Mississippi, West Virginia, and Arkansas have the lowest median incomes, all $40,000 and below.

The states of North Dakota and West Virginia had no change in median income, while Texas' median income decreased by 1 percent.

The national poverty rate was at 15.1 percent last year, but it runs as high as 20.4 percent in New Mexico and 22.4 percent in Mississippi.

The ongoing survey provides data that helps determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year.

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