U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Skip Header

"Poverty Rates Down in 12 States, Median Income Up in 16 States: New Data from the American Community Survey"

Written by:

In case you missed it, last week, the Census Bureau released the official poverty rate and median household income estimates for the United States from the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement. We also released estimates from the American Community Survey with information on these topics and more for communities of 65,000 or more. The American Community Survey is the recommended data source for subnational estimates on these topics. The poverty rate and other income statistics from the American Community Survey help states and local communities evaluate current economic conditions and aid in the identification of areas and population groups that may require targeted assistance.

Between 2013 and 2014, poverty rates declined in 12 states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington. The poverty rate increased in one state, Alaska. Changes in poverty rates between 2013 and 2014 were not statistically significant in the other 37 states and the District of Columbia.

Mississippi’s poverty rate fell from 24.0 percent in 2013 to 21.5 percent in 2014, a decline of 2.5 percentage points. This was among the largest percentage-point decline of states.

Across the 50 states, New Hampshire’s poverty rate was the lowest, and Mississippi and New Mexico had the two highest rates.

Child poverty trends between 2013 and 2014 were similar, as child poverty rates fell in 10 states. In Arkansas, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington, poverty for children under age 18 declined. Poverty rates for children increased in Alaska, New Hampshire and North Dakota. In the other 37 states and the District of Columbia, the changes in child poverty rates were not statistically significant.

The American Community Survey also shows that real median household income increased in 16 states between 2013 and 2014 and decreased in one state, Kentucky. North Dakota’s median household income increased by 4.5 percent between 2013 and 2014. It was among the largest increases in the nation. Changes in median household income between 2013 and 2014 were not statistically significant in 33 other states and the District of Columbia.

Median household incomes ranged across the 50 states from $73,971 in Maryland to $39,680 in Mississippi.

Income and poverty are just two of the many topics included in the annual American Community Survey statistics. This latest release includes statistics for geographies with populations of 65,000 or more. The American Community Survey is the most comprehensive, nationwide survey that provides information on a variety of topics, including education, commuting and homeownership.


If you would like to learn more about the American Community Survey including other topics covered, please visit

Kayla Fontenot, Poverty Statistics Branch

Kirby Posey, Income Statistics Branch

Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes Thumbs Down Image No
255 characters maximum 255 characters maximum reached
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?


Back to Header