In this article, we’ll highlight income extremes across the US and identify the states, populated places and ZIP Codes with the highest and lowest Median Household Income. The rankings are based on July 1, 2019, estimates. Let's begin with a definition.
The Median Household Income (MHI) is the level that divides the income distribution of households into two groups with half having income above that amount and half having income below that amount.
For a frame-of-reference, the Median Household Income for the entire US was estimated at $60,548 as of July 1, 2019.
The state with the highest MHI is New Jersey with $82,332. West Virginia has the lowest MHI at $43,672.
In this analysis, a populated place refers to an incorporated city, town or village as well as a Census Designated Place (CDP). A CDP has an officially recognized name and a defined boundary, but no governmental functions.
When the various populated places are ranked by MHI, 125 places tie for first place because the data is top-coded at $200,001.
In econometrics and statistics, a top-coded data observation is one for which data points whose values are above an upper bound are censored. Survey data are often top coded before being released to the public to preserve the anonymity of respondents. Thus, the only thing we know for certain is that all 125 top-ranked populated places have an MHI greater than $200,000.
Here's the list of the populated places in the U.S. with the highest Median Household Incomes as of July 1, 2019.
Here's the list of the populated places in the U.S. with the lowest Median Household Income as on July 1, 2019.
Stotonic Village CDP in Pinal County, Arizona is the populated place with the lowest Median Household Income ($11,077) in the US.
The Town of Tchula, Mississippi has the lowest MHI ($13,574) amongst legally incorporated cities, towns, and villages.
For ZIP Codes, there are 60 that are top-coded at $200,001, so it's technically a tie for first place. Here are three from the list of 67:
The ZIP Code with the lowest reported Median Household Income is Durham, NC 27708. However, this ZIP Code is in the middle of the Duke University campus, so we'll ignore this one since the Median Household Income of a college dormitory area is not particularly interesting or meaningful.
Youngstown, OH 44503 has a Median Household Income of $9,700 which is the lowest MHI for a ZIP Code in the nation when we exclude ZIP Codes for college campuses.
The 44503 ZIP Code covers the downtown part of Youngstown and it has 491 multi-family addresses, 34 single-family addresses, and 316 business addresses.