Is New Hampshire a Rich State?

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Census data found New Hampshire households are less about the Benjamins...and all about the Jacksons

The new US Census data released this week shows that New Hampshire’s median household income is among the highest in the country. In fact, we’re one of only eight states where household income is above the national average. Median income in New Hampshire is $61,042.

That may seem like good money, but a closer look reveals that New Hampshire has less income disparity than most states.

“Warren Buffet does not live in New Hampshire, Bill Gates does not live in New Hamsphire, neither does Tom Brady,” says Dennis Delay an economist for The New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies. Delay explains that the reason the state’s household income seems high is because the poverty rate is low. “This is not a state full of millionaires, it is a state full of median income people and a state that lacks poor people.”

For example, New Hampshire has a smaller portion of taxpayers making over $200,000 a year than the national average. While the state’s median income did show a small decline from 2009-2010,  it was less than the rest of the country: 1.1 percent in New Hampshire versus 2.2 percent nationwide.

“Understanding what’s behind the numbers may help state lawmakers make better policy based on who actually lives here,” says Delay.

The Census also found that New Hampshire has the second highest rate of health insurance in the country for private sector workers. Massachusetts, with its state mandate for employers, came in first. Delay says he was surprised by these numbers.

“It means that businesses in New Hampshire both large and small have done a better job of offering health insurance coverage to their employees.”


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