Maryland boasts the highest median household income in the country, making it the richest state in the U.S. With its close proximity to Washington, D.C. (it borders the nation’s capital on three sides), the state is home to several federal agencies including the National Security Agency, which employs the largest number of mathematicians in the U.S.
Perhaps more surprising than which state tops the richest list is which states didn’t make the top ten—including New York, which is home to three of the 25 richest towns in America. (By comparison, Maryland only claims one town in the top 25 list: Travilah, which holds the 24th spot.)
The country’s 49th and 50th states did rank among the top 10 richest states with Alaska clocking in at number 7 and Hawaii at number 3. New Hampshire, another low-population state, also cracked the top ten list.
The ranking of richest states was created using data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau as part of its American Community Survey. Find out more about the country's richest states below.
Median Household Income: $80,776
As of 2017, Maryland boasted the highest number of millionaires per capita, according to the Phoenix Wealth and Affluent Monitor. With a population of just over 6 million, the mid-Atlantic state ranks 19th of the most populous states. Marriott International, based in Bethesda, is the largest employer in the state, according to Zippia. Zillow estimates the median home value in Maryland to be $290,000.
2. New Jersey
Median Household Income: $80,088
The 11th most populous state, with a population of just over 9 million, is home to many leading firms in the biotech sector like Merck and Johnson & Johnson. Its close proximity to New York City means there are plenty of Garden State millionaires who commute to financial jobs in the Big Apple as well. The median home value in New Jersey is $327,700, according to Zillow.
Median Household Income: $77,765
As of April 2019, Hawaii ranks 5th in the U.S. for the lowest rate of unemployment, with just 2.8% of the labor force in the Aloha state listed as unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median home value in Hawaii is a whopping $616,000, according to Zillow. Tourism and defense are the major industries in the island state.
Median Household Income: $77,385
With nearly 7 million people, the fifteenth most populous state boasts the highest number residents per capita with bachelor's degrees, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition to education, financial services, health care, and technology are the Bay State's top industries. Zillow estimates the median home value in Massachusetts to be $407,700.
Median Household Income: $74,168
The Constitution State is home to four of the 25 richest towns in America, tying it with California, the most populous state in the country, for the state with the highest number of wealthy towns. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area has the highest concentration of millionaires in the country, according to Kiplinger. The largest employer in the New England state is United Technologies.
6. New Hampshire
Median Household Income: $73,381
With only 1.3 million people, the Granite State is the 11th least populous state in America and residents there don't pay state income or capital gains taxes. The state also boasts a highly educated population: three of the top ten employers are universities, according to Zippia. The cost of living is low relative to other top ten richest states; Zillow estimates the median home value to be $276,400.
Median Household Income: $73,181
Second to the federal government, the petroleum industry creates the largest number of jobs in the Last Frontier and tourism is the second largest private sector. After oil and natural gas, its largest export is seafood. With fewer than 800,000 residents, Alaska is the fourth least populous state in America.
Median Household Income: $71,805
The Golden State boasts the largest economy in the U.S., with a gross state product of nearly $3 trillion. And with over 40 million residents, it's also the most populous state in the country. The largest economic sectors in California are agriculture, technology, media, trade and tourism. It costs a lot to live in the state with the fifth longest coastline (behind Alaska, Florida, Louisiana, and Maine): Zillow estimates the median home value to be is $548,000.
Median Household Income: $71,535
Although the cost of living is low relative to others on this list (Zillow estimates the median home value in Virginia to be $258,600), five of the top 10 richest counties in the U.S. are in the Old Dominion State. Those counties, including Falls Church, Virginia, which is top on the county list and also home to one of the richest towns in America, are just outside Washington, DC, which attracts highly-educated Americans.
Median Household Income: $70,979
With major companies like Amazon calling the Evergreen State home, incomes have risen, and so has the cost of living. Washington is home to one of the most expensive houses in the world, and Zillow estimates the median home value there to be $385,800, up 5.6% from 2018.