The median household income in the United States was $61,372 in 2017, an increase in real terms of 1.8 percent from the 2016 median of $60,309. There have been increases in median household income for three years in a row for the United States in general.
Not in Puerto Rico.
The latest figures show that the median household income for Puerto Rico in 2017 was $19,343, down from $20,472 in 2016. In other words, Puerto Rico shows a drop in income, while the 50 States are showing increases. This data was collected before Hurricane Maria. Data on Puerto Rico’s household income since the hurricanes is not yet available.
Puerto Rico’s median household income is just under 32 percent — less than one third — of the national average of $61,372. The state with the lowest household median income in 2017 was West Virginia, at $43,469. Median household income in Puerto Rico is less than half of the median household income in the poorest states in the Union: West Virginia and Mississippi.
The median income in some other States in 2017:
- Florida’s median household income: $52,594
- New Jersey’s median household income: $80,088
- New York’s median household income: $64,894
- Utah’s median household income: $68,358
- Washington’s median household income: $70,979
And what of the two states that joined the Union in the mid 20th century?
- Alaska’s median household income: $73,181
- Hawaii’s median household income: $77,765
Both Hawaii and Alaska were in poverty when they were territories in the 1950s, but both are now more prosperous than the national average.
Puerto Rico, still an unincorporated territory of the United States, has not been able to participate in these gains.