6. Massachusetts
> Median household income: $65,339
> Population: 6,646,144 (14th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 6.7% (16th lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 11.9% (11th lowest)
Massachusetts was one of just four states with a significant increase in median household income between 2011 and 2012. Last year, median household income rose to $65,339, from $64,311 the year before. The many colleges and universities in the Boston area are a major source of high-paying jobs in the state. Nearly 28% of working residents in Massachusetts were employed in education, health care or social assistance, the most in the nation. Additionally, just 3.9% of the state’s population lacked health insurance last year, lowest of all 50 states and well below the 14.8% figure nationwide. This may be partly because of the state’s own health care reform measures, passed in 2006. These reforms are often seen as a model for the federal government’s 2010

7. New Hampshire
> Median household income: $63,280
> Population: 1,320,718 (9th lowest)
> Unemployment rate: 5.5% (8th lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 10.0% (the lowest)
In addition to being one of the wealthiest states in the nation, New Hampshire also had the lowest poverty rate last year. Just 10% of people in the state had an income that placed them below the poverty line, versus nearly 16% nationwide. Similarly, just 2.7% of households earned less than $10,000 in 2012 — again the lowest rate in the nation and nearly half the national rate of 5%. Also demonstrating how well residents in the state are doing, just 8.3% of households received food stamps in 2012, the lowest percentage in the nation, while the state had an unemployment rate of only 5.5%.

8. Virginia
> Median household income: $61,741
> Population: 8,185,867 (12th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 5.9% (13th lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 11.7% (9th lowest)
Median household income in Virginia declined from over $65,000 in 2008 to an estimated $61,741 last year. The unemployment rate improved from 6.4% in 2011 to 5.9% last year. Nearly 10% of Virginian households earned at least $200,000 in 2012, one of the highest rates nationally. One reason for these high incomes may be the concentration of high-skilled jobs in professional, scientific and management fields, which can pay well. Individuals in occupations within these groups accounted for 15% of Virginia’s workforce, more than any state except Maryland.

9. Minnesota
> Median household income: $58,906
> Population: 5,379,139 (21st highest)
> Unemployment rate: 5.6% (9th lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 11.4% (7th lowest)
Minnesota had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country last year, at 5.6%, compared to a national rate of 8.9%. Most of the states with high median household incomes also had smaller populations of impoverished residents, and Minnesota was no exception. The state’s poverty rate was among the lowest in the nation, at 11.4%. Further, just 3.3% of Minnesota households earned an income of less than $10,000 in 2012, compared to a national rate of 5.0%.

10. Delaware
> Median household income: $58,415
> Population: 917,092 (6th lowest)
> Unemployment rate: 7.1% (tied-23rd lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 12.0% (12th lowest)
Delaware’s median household income declined from more than $62,000 in 2008 to $58,415 last year — still well above the national median. One reason for this may be the relatively large number of workers in finance, insurance and real estate. These jobs, which tend to pay well, accounted for almost 10% of employment in the state. Delaware also had a high percentage of residents with health insurance, with only 8.8% lacking coverage.