Washington, D.C. tops every state in America when it comes to take home personal income. The average (per capita) income for workers in the District of Columbia is a whopping $75,596, significantly above every other state, per the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York round up the top five states in personal income, where workers earn on average over $60,000. The Northeast appears to be the direction the compass is pointing for enterprising individuals set on earning an optimal salary for their efforts.
Mississippi, at the opposite end of the spectrum, trails the country with the lowest per capita income at $35,936. West Virginia, New Mexico, Idaho, and Alabama round down the bottom five states in average income per capita, at less than $40,000. Folks living in the south are known for their hospitality and openness. Some of the finest people you’ll ever meet are from these states, but with per capita figures roughly 25% below the national average, there might be better places to live and earn a higher income. New entrants into the workforce or others looking to find meaningful work should consider which areas offer the best economic benefits.
Per capita income is calculated by dividing the area’s total personal income by its total population. Personal income for the entire United States in 2016 was approximately $16.3 trillion. Dividing total personal income by the national population of about 323 million equates to $49,571 per person. I suggest using the national average as a benchmark to compare which areas to live in make the most sense financially.