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HomeLife InsuranceU.S. Census Bureau: 50 States of Super Earner Cutoff Data

U.S. Census Bureau: 50 States of Super Earner Cutoff Data


Qualifying as a super earner takes a lot more household income in some states than others — and the median increased significantly between 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic began, and 2021.

In the typical U.S. state, a household had to have $400,688 in income in 2021 to rank in the top 5% in terms of household income. That was up 7.8%, from $366,947, in 2019.

What It Means

States and cities with high cutoffs for the “top 5 percenters” may be especially attractive markets for agents and advisors.

High-income people in those markets have the cash to buy everything from annuities to stocks to cash-value life insurance, but those toward the low end of that range are acutely aware that they are not necessarily wealthy; that they get no sympathy from hospitals, nursing homes, college financial aid offices or government support programs; and that they lack the flexibility to hide everything in a shoebox on a desert island that the top 0.1 percenters might enjoy.

The Data

The U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies collect many streams of household income data.

The figures used here come from the bureau’s S1901 household income table, which is based on American Community Survey 1-year estimates tables released last week, and the comparable table for 2019.

The Context

Between 2019 and 2021, median household income for all U.S. residents increased by 6.1% to $69,717.

In 2019, state top 5 percenter cutoffs ranged from $280,030 in West Virginia up to $579,711 in Connecticut.

For a look at the 10 states with the highest top 5 percenter cutoffs in 2021, see the gallery above.

For data for all 50 states, see the table below.

State Cutoffs for Ranking in the Top 5% in Terms of Annual Household Income

2019 2021 Change, in %
Alabama  $311,208  $340,996 9.6%
Alaska  $387,399  $380,619 -1.8%
Arizona  $367,580  $415,144 12.9%
Arkansas  $315,234  $329,386 4.5%
California  $531,014  $571,211 7.6%
Colorado  $450,609  $486,502 8.0%
Connecticut  $579,711  $596,845 3.0%
Delaware  $387,937  $405,211 4.5%
Florida  $404,254  $436,219 7.9%
Georgia  $402,002  $423,553 5.4%
Hawaii  $423,529  $465,118 9.8%
Idaho  $325,365  $418,289 28.6%
Illinois  $442,476  $461,458 4.3%
Indiana  $348,590  $346,248 -0.7%
Iowa  $339,126  $372,563 9.9%
Kansas  $350,796  $381,969 8.9%
Kentucky  $333,777  $341,277 2.2%
Louisiana  $336,976  $350,118 3.9%
Maine  $327,475  $401,099 22.5%
Maryland  $478,927  $512,227 7.0%
Massachusetts  $526,243  $566,762 7.7%
Michigan  $356,455  $379,855 6.6%
Minnesota  $406,818  $439,236 8.0%
Mississippi  $304,820  $300,597 -1.4%
Missouri  $345,545  $388,700 12.5%
Montana  $350,655  $399,224 13.9%
Nebraska  $343,133  $391,315 14.0%
Nevada  $415,695  $403,819 -2.9%
New Hampshire  $412,033  $451,371 9.5%
New Jersey  $540,499  $571,255 5.7%
New Mexico  $314,941  $343,386 9.0%
New York  $553,773  $554,810 0.2%
North Carolina  $367,316  $400,277 9.0%
North Dakota  $373,709  $368,575 -1.4%
Ohio  $354,673  $377,012 6.3%
Oklahoma  $352,070  $320,039 -9.1%
Oregon  $365,465  $409,985 12.2%
Pennsylvania  $403,160  $416,013 3.2%
Puerto Rico $179,744 $189,106 5.2%
Rhode Island  $406,567  $420,855 3.5%
South Carolina  $355,363  $372,525 4.8%
South Dakota  $317,665  $395,871 24.6%
Tennessee  $366,578  $399,912 9.1%
Texas  $408,263  $426,589 4.5%
Utah  $403,396  $462,782 14.7%
Vermont  $343,288  $397,533 15.8%
Virginia  $455,891  $483,144 6.0%
Washington  $457,171  $520,392 13.8%
West Virginia  $280,030  $337,547 20.5%
Wisconsin  $345,564  $373,977 8.2%
Wyoming  $339,640  $397,621 17.1%
MEDIAN  $366,947  $400,688 7.8%

(Image: Adobe Stock)

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