Average Income By State 2024

Average Income By State 2024

As we enter 2024, a closer examination of the average income across various states in the United States reveals a fascinating economic landscape. This year, as we analyze the variance in earnings from coast to coast, it becomes evident that each state tells its unique story of financial prosperity and challenges.

From the bustling tech hubs on the West Coast to the industrial heartlands in the Midwest, the variation in salaries offers a window into the diverse economic health and opportunities across the nation.

This comprehensive overview aims to dissect these variations, providing insights into the factors that influence these differences, including regional economic conditions, industry strengths, and the cost of living.


Overview of Average Salaries in the United States: A State-by-State Analysis

As we delve into the economic landscape of 2024, a clear picture emerges of the average salaries across the United States. With the national average wage serving as a benchmark, it’s intriguing how different states stack up against this figure. This article is a deeper exploration into the highest and lowest earning states, offering insights into the diverse economic conditions shaping incomes across the United States.

Top Earning States: Where Salaries Soar Above the National Average

Certain states stand out in high earnings, with their salaries significantly surpassing the national average. Often driven by robust industries and thriving economic sectors, these states showcase the US’s upper echelons of earning potential.

The top-earning states reflect the strength of specific industries and hint at the broader financial health and opportunities within these regions. This year, states like Massachusetts, New York, and California continue to lead, partly thanks to their dominant tech, finance, and entertainment sectors. However, these higher incomes correlate with higher living costs and more expensive real estate for the areas with the most economic opportunities.

States with the Lowest Average Salaries: Understanding the Economic Factors

Conversely, some states lag in terms of average salaries. These lower figures are often tied to various economic factors, including the decline of specific industries, regional economic challenges, and even geographic limitations. For instance, States like Mississippi, Arkansas, and West Virginia report lower average salaries, reflecting their economic landscapes.

Understanding these disparities is crucial in understanding these states’ broader economic challenges and opportunities. However, these states can provide very cheap housing and lower living costs for those working remotely and not location-based for their job responsibilities.

Regional Salary Disparities: Northeast to South

The disparity in average salaries is not just a state-by-state phenomenon but also a regional one. The Northeast, for example, generally reports higher average wages than the South. These differences are rooted in these regions’ varied economic structures, industrial focuses, and historical contexts.

The Northeast’s higher salaries can be attributed to its concentration of high-paying industries and financial services, whereas the South’s lower averages reflect its different economic makeup. New England’s early ports and coastal trade created an economic head start that persists to this day over the southern land-locked states.

Impact of Occupation on State Salaries: A Closer Look

The impact of occupation on salaries is profound and varies significantly across states. For instance, tech professionals in California or finance experts in New York often earn substantially more than their counterparts in other states.

This variation is primarily influenced by the local demand for specific occupations and the presence of leading industries in those states. Such disparities underscore the importance of considering location and career field in understanding salary potentials.

Educational Attainment and Its Influence on State Income Levels

This year’s data shows the link between educational attainment and income levels. States with higher levels of educational attainment, such as Massachusetts and Maryland, often report higher average incomes.

This correlation underscores the value of higher education in personal economic advancement and the broader impact of schooling on state economies. Of course, the right degrees and colleges must be chosen to ensure that the expense is worth the future earnings potential.

Examining The Cost Of Living By State In 2024

In 2024, the cost of living across the United States continues to be a significant concern, with inflation impacting almost every aspect of daily life. Let’s look at a comprehensive analysis to reveal how states rank regarding essential expenditures, including housing, transportation, healthcare, food, and income taxes. This examination is crucial in understanding the financial landscape of each state and its impact on residents’ disposable incomes.

Cost of Living Considerations: High Salaries vs. High Expenses

While high salaries in certain states are appealing, they often come with a higher cost of living. Despite their high average incomes, states like California and New York also have some of the highest living costs in the country. This highlights the importance of considering the cost of living when evaluating the actual value of salaries in different states.

Hawaii is the most expensive state, with an average annual expenditure of $55,491, leaving residents with the most minor disposable income. In stark contrast, Mississippi stands out for its low cost of living, with yearly expenses averaging $32,336. However, despite its affordability, Mississippi ranks low in disposable income due to its lower average salaries.

The disparity between states like New York, which has a high cost of living and the highest disposable income, and others like Mississippi highlights the complex interplay between earnings, expenses, and quality of life. The analysis also shows regional trends, with the West and Northeast being more expensive than the South.

Understanding the average salary in each state is crucial, as it significantly affects how residents manage their living costs. The average US salary is $61,900, but this varies widely, with Massachusetts leading at $76,600 and Mississippi at the bottom with $45,180.

Transportation costs also vary significantly, with Hawaii having the highest and Rhode Island the lowest. Housing costs show a similar trend, with California having the highest median monthly housing costs and West Virginia having the lowest. Alaska and Oklahoma represent the extremes in food prices from high to low, while healthcare costs are highest in Alaska and most affordable in Utah.

Income taxes also affect the overall cost of living, with states like Hawaii having high income taxes, impacting disposable income. These findings underscore the importance of considering various factors when evaluating the cost of living in different states and deciding where to live and work.

9 States With No Income Tax

In the United States, the tax landscape varies significantly from state to state, with some offering the notable benefit of having no state income tax. This can be a significant draw for individuals and businesses looking for tax-friendly environments. As of 2024, nine states stand out for not levying a state income tax on their residents. Here’s a closer look at each of these states:

  1. Alaska: Known for its stunning natural beauty, Alaska offers no state income tax and does not have a state sales tax. Residents even receive annual dividends from the Alaska Permanent Fund.
  2. Florida: A popular destination for retirees, Florida’s lack of a state income tax is complemented by a relatively low cost of living and a favorable climate, making it an attractive option for those seeking a tax-friendly state.
  3. Nevada: Home to Las Vegas, Nevada is another state with no income tax. The state generates significant revenue from tourism and gaming, which helps offset the need for a state income tax.
  4. South Dakota: With a robust economy and a low cost of living, South Dakota is an appealing option for individuals and businesses. The absence of a state income tax is an added advantage.
  5. Texas: The second-largest US state by area and population, Texas is a major economic powerhouse. Its no-state income tax policy is a significant draw for businesses and individuals alike.
  6. Washington: Known for its tech industry and natural beauty, Washington state does not impose a state income tax. However, it does have higher-than-average sales and property taxes.
  7. Wyoming: With a small population and a wealth of natural resources, Wyoming manages to maintain its no-state income tax status. The state is known for its low population density and high quality of life.
  8. Tennessee: Tennessee boasts no state income tax. Its music and entertainment industry and mild weather make it an attractive destination for retirees, aspiring singers, musicians, and songwriters.
  9. New Hampshire: While New Hampshire does tax dividends and interest, it does not tax earned income. This unique tax structure makes it an appealing choice for specific demographics.

Living in a state without income tax can offer significant financial benefits, particularly for high earners. However, it’s essential to consider other types of taxes and cost of living expenses that might offset these benefits. Each state has its unique blend of taxes, fees, and living costs, which should be carefully considered when deciding where to live or establish a business.

Future Trends: Predicting Income Changes in US States

Several factors are likely to influence income trends across US states. Economic forecasts suggest shifts in industries and job markets, while demographic changes could also shape future income patterns. These trends provide insights for individuals making career and relocation decisions and policymakers focused on economic development and growth. Look for business-friendly states growing and attracting new employers for their citizens.

Key Takeaways

  • Economic Diversity Across States: The disparity in earnings across various states highlights the diverse economic landscapes and industrial strengths unique to each region.
  • High-Income States’ Characteristics: States with soaring income levels often have robust sectors like technology, finance, and entertainment, contributing to their elevated salary averages.
  • Challenges in Lower-Income States: States reporting lower average incomes face unique economic hurdles, often linked to their industrial composition and regional economic conditions.
  • Regional Economic Variations: The contrast in average incomes between regions such as the Northeast and the South underscores the influence of historical, industrial, and economic factors.
  • Occupational Influence on Earnings: The significant impact of one’s profession on income levels varies widely and is influenced by local industry demand and regional economic focus.
  • Household Income Dynamics: Evaluating median household incomes provides a broader perspective on the financial health of families, considering the combined earnings of all household members.
  • Education’s Role in Economic Advancement: Higher educational attainment is closely linked to increased income levels, highlighting the value of education in economic growth.
  • Living Costs vs. Salary: The balance between high salaries and the cost of living is crucial, especially in states with high living expenses.
  • Future Economic Outlook: Anticipated shifts in industry, job markets, and demographics are expected to influence income trends in the coming years.


The exploration of average incomes by the state in 2024 reveals different economic narratives, each creating its unique financial opportunity and challenges story. This analysis aimed to shed light on the multifaceted nature of income variances across states and regions and underscores the intricate interplay between regional economic structures, occupational demands, and educational attainment.

Understanding these nuances is vital in fostering income growth and prosperity as we navigate these diverse economic landscapes. The insights gleaned from this year’s data serve as a compass, guiding policymakers toward informed decisions and strategies to attract businesses and grow their state economies. Where individuals and businesses decide to live or relocate impacts their earnings ability, cost of living, and disposable income.

The average income by state in 2024 paints a complex and varied picture of the US economic landscape. City, state, and regional economic factors collectively shape the financial well-being of individuals and households nationwide. [1] [2] [3]