Top 15 States Where Americans Are Broke

Map of the worst states for broke Americans

Map of the worst states for broke Americans | WalletHub

One common theme has plagued the so-called economic recovery: the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Numerous studies show an overwhelming amount of prosperity flowing to the wealthiest households and away from everyone else post-recession, but where are households falling behind the most?

In 2014, the Federal Reserve released its latest Survey of Consumer Finances, a survey about household wealth and income that is taken every three years. The central bank found the median income for the wealthiest 10% rose 2% to $223,200 from 2010 to 2013. In comparison, median income for all households in the nation declined 5% to $46,700 during the same period.

WalletHub recently analyzed government data to find out which states (and the nation’s capital) are the richest and poorest, based on income, gross domestic product per capita, and federal taxes paid per capita. A double weighting was assigned to income due to its importance. Washington D.C. outranks every state in the nation for prosperity, with the exception of New Jersey (tied). Connecticut, Maryland, and Massachusetts round out the top five richest states.

Overall, WalletHub finds that blue states are wealthier than red states. Blue states have an average rank of 18.41, while red states have an average rank of 34.25. Let’s take a look at the 15 poorest states in the nation. Did your state make the list?

15. Louisiana

Dusk falls over Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, 11 July 2006, almost one year after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. For tourists strolling through the French Quarter it's easy to forget that Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans a year ago. The beignets are fresh, trinkets and designer clothes are artfully arranged in shop windows, and hurricanes are spinning in the bars on Bourbon Street. But while the music, food and good times have come back, the crowds have not and the city is struggling to make ends meet while its main industry remains crippled. With more than 10 million visitors a year, tourism was once a 5.5 billion dollar industry in New Orleans, accounting for 40 percent of the city's tax revenues and employing 85,000 people. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

New Orleans, Louisiana | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

  • Income rank: 43
  • GDP per capita rank: 24
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 21

14. Florida

Streetscene Collins Court in Miami Beach

Collins Court in Miami Beach | iStock.com

  • Income rank: 37
  • GDP per capita rank: 46
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 32

13. North Carolina

Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

North Carolina street | Lance King/Getty Images

  • Income rank: 40
  • GDP per capita rank: 32
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 36

12. Oklahoma

oklahoma city

Oklahoma City | SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

  • Income rank: 42
  • GDP per capita rank: 36
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 27

11. Tennessee

Bridge at Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee

Bridge at Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee | iStock.com/RobHainer

  • Income rank: 44
  • GDP per capita rank: 38
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 25

10. Maine

Source: Thinkstock

Maine coastline | Thinkstock

  • Income rank: 38
  • GDP per capita rank: 45
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 45

9. Montana

Mountains in Montana

Montana | iStock.com

  • Income rank: 39
  • GDP per capita rank: 42
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 46

8. Arkansas

A broke American in Arkansas

A sad, broke lady in Arkansas | Thinkstock

  • Income rank: 50
  • GDP per capita rank: 43
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 13

7. Idaho

A lonely, broke man walking

Idaho can be rough for wealth building | Thinkstock

  • Income rank: 41
  • GDP per capita rank: 50
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 43

6. Kentucky

Kentucky downtown

Kentucky | Jeff Gentner/Getty Images

  • Income rank: 47
  • GDP per capita rank: 44
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 39

5. New Mexico

Two broke guys sitting

Two broke guys | Thinkstock

  • Income rank: 46
  • GDP per capita rank: 40
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 49

4. South Carolina

South Carolina water

South Carolina | iStock.com

  • Income rank: 45
  • GDP per capita rank: 49
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 48

3. Alabama

Alabama

Alabama | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

  • Income rank: 48
  • GDP per capita rank: 47
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 47

2. West Virginia

West Virginia

West Virginia | Thinkstock

  • Income rank: 49
  • GDP per capita rank: 48
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 50

1. Mississippi

Mississippi

Mississippi | Thinkstock

  • Income rank: 51
  • GDP per capita rank: 51
  • Taxes paid per capita rank: 51

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