The Richest States in the U.S.

Rose Morrison

May 7, 2021


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Are you considering relocation in the pandemic’s wake? If you are thinking about pulling up stakes, you probably want to go somewhere there’s a good chance you could earn a solid income. Even if you plan on staying on the homestead, you might be curious which areas of the nation rank as most affluent. Here’s a top 10 list of the richest states in the U.S. and what makes them so special if you’re planning to relocate.

1. Maryland — $86,738

maine is one of the richest states in the us

You probably won’t feel crabby about your salary if you relocate to this mid-Atlantic state. However, you will want to take part in the annual blue crab harvest, starting in early fall and tempting your tastebuds with some of the sweetest gifts from the sea imaginable.

Those in the medical profession often demand the highest incomes, although computer techs and top legal professionals also do quite well. Given the proximity to the D.C. metro area, many affluent sorts also work in the public sector or government.

2. Massachusetts — $85,843

a bustling boston skyline at night

Let’s hear it for Beantown and the surrounding suburbs. Massachusetts ranks number two on this list, with salaries justifying the relatively high cost of living in many areas. This state values education, and it shows, with postsecondary teaching professionals ranking among the highest-paid residents.

You’ll find no shortage of things to do if you decide to relocate here. Fenway Park comes alive in baseball season and offers year-round tours — you’ll love the celebration when the Sox win. You can take a day trip to nearby Salem and witness the location of the early witch trials near Halloween. It’s the magic of October, gift-wrapped in fall foliage ribbon.

3. New Jersey — $85,751

a quaint new jersey neighborhood

If your only impression of New Jersey comes from television shows like “Jersey Shore,” you might think the state is all about fun. However, they also boast an impressive work ethic. Dentists and doctors top the well-paid list, but you can do well in higher education, computer science, or transportation.

Of course, you can head “down the shore” for your weekend entertainment. You’re also a short drive away from destinations like the Big Apple in the north or Philly’s famous South Street farther south. With D.C. and Boston only a few hours away, there’s no end to entertainment within driving distance.

4. Hawaii — $83,102

beautiful Hawaiian sunset at the ocean

Is your motto “life’s a beach”? If so, why not call the island state of Hawaii your home? Educators are in high demand here, so much so that officials offered cash incentives for certificated individuals to pack their bags during the 2019-2020 school year.

If you’re the active outdoor type, you’ll find no shortage of adventures. Stroll along a black-sand beach or snorkel with the dolphins. You might even try volcano sledding since they lack snow.

5. California — $80,400

the golden gate bridge in one of the richest states in the us

The Golden State has earned its nickname a few times over. While the moniker refers to the early gold-rush days, it could also apply to California’s median incomes. Thanks to the computer riches in Silicon Valley, the state even boasted salary increases during the pandemic.

You don’t need to resign yourself to surfing every weekend, although you could earn your beach-bum credentials if you want. You can also drive north and camp amid the redwoods or see the world’s most famous mouse at Disneyland.

6. Connecticut — $78,833

a rowhouse in Connecticut

New England states typically do well income-wise, and Connecticut is no exception. Medical and legal professionals rank highly, as do those in the legal and financial fields and sales.

The state transforms into a photographer’s dream when fall arrives. Invest in a quality lens set for your smartphone and spend your weekends capturing nature’s glory.

7. Washington — $78,687

seattle space needle skyline at sunset

On the other side of the country, the tech sector is alive and well in Washington. Some top techies earn well over $200,000 a year designing and troubleshooting programs and apps. Most can plan to end up in the six-figure range.

There’s plenty to do in the Emerald City and surrounding areas. The region boasts several pro sports teams, and you can enjoy fine dining atop the Space Needle once the pandemic abates and the dining area reopens.

8. New Hampshire — $77,933

nahsua town overview with a church

It’s back to New England, where CEOs and medical professionals enjoy a well-paid life. The state boasts a rugged outdoor heritage, making those who live to hunt and fish feel right at home.

You’ll find weekend fun for any preferences, from exquisite wine tastings to weaponry lessons. You’ll also discover no shortage of picturesque small towns just waiting for you to stop by and try local dining and explore the shops.

9. Colorado — $77,127

colorado mountains with lake at sunset

Life in the Mile-High City has gotten pricier in recent years, but many professionals earn salaries that justify their living expenses. Companies like Vera and NetApp offer computer professionals exciting incentives to don their ski parkas and hats.

You don’t have to ski to live in the state, but it helps if you like snow. You might see white stuff on the ground eight months out of the year.

10. Virginia — $76,456

governor's mansion at colonial Williamsburg

Virginia may be for lovers, but it’s also for hard-working professionals. Health care professionals do well, as do marketing managers and other business sorts. Many folks lean toward government work.

You can visit the cherry blossoms in peak season and stroll the National Mall by heading to nearby D.C. Stop by Black Lives Matter Plaza and reflect on ways you can help curb racism or uplift your community.

Bonus: District of Columbia — $92,266

Winter in Washington DC

The richest state in the nation isn’t properly a “state” at all. The District of Columbia boasts an average salary of $92,266. Maybe it’s time to research how to become a lobbyist?

Considering Moving to One of the Richest States in the U.S.? Remember That Affordability Matters.

If you decide to relocate to one of the richest states in the U.S., please remember that wages often reflect the cost of living. You might earn more, but you won’t feel enriched if you spend every dime on rent and utilities. Check out our most affordable cities in America to discover where your income will stretch the furthest.

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