Mississippi remained the poorest state in the nation in 2015, posting the lowest median household income and the highest poverty rate in the country, according to statistics released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Median household income for Mississippians in 2015 was $40,593 – up 2.2 percent from 2014 median of $39,702. In both years, Mississippi’s income was the lowest in the country. Nationwide, the median household income was $55,775.

Comparing the growth rate of income to other states, Mississippi’s 2.2 percent rate ranks in the lower third of states. Eleven states had slower growth in median household income than Mississippi.

When asked for a comment, Clay Chandler, Gov. Phil Bryant’s director of communications sent this email response:

“I will insist that you run this in its entirety. Attribute to Gov. Bryant:

It is interesting how these statistics only seem important to the media now that Republicans have some political power. Unemployment has been reduced from 9.5 percent to 6 percent. Teen pregnancy is down 26 percent and 92 percent of third graders passed their reading test in 2016. Mississippi is recognized as the most creative state in the nation for public education by the Education Commission of the States. But Mississippi Today and other media outlets gleefully focus on the negative statistics, often produced by the Obama Administration, in an obvious attempt to discredit any gains Mississippi has made. My suggestion would be to remove the bipartisan  label from your heading and print your desires. “


Each of Mississippi’s neighboring states, with the exception of Arkansas, had higher growth rates from 2014 to 2015.

  • Mississippi: $40,593 in 2015, $39,702 in 2014 (2.2 percent growth)
  • Alabama: $44,765 in 2015, $42,895 in 2014 (4.4 percent growth)
  • Arkansas: $41,995 in 2015, $41,302 in 2014 (1.7 percent growth)
  • Louisiana: $45,727 in 2015, $44,601 in 2014 (2.5 percent growth)
  • Tennessee: $47,275 in 2015, $44,403 in 2014 (6.5 percent growth)

Meanwhile, the state’s poverty rate, 22 percent in 2015, remains the highest in the nation. That is up 0.5 percent from 2014. Nationwide, the poverty rate is 14.7 percent.

Mississippi is one of just four states in the nation with slight increases in the poverty rate, compared to the previous year.

Mississippi’s neighboring states, with the exception of Arkansas, saw decreases in poverty rates since 2014.

  • Mississippi: 22 percent in 2015, 21.5 percent in 2014 (0.5 percent increase)
  • Alabama: 18.5 percent in 2015, 19.3 percent in 2014 (-0.8 percent decrease)
  • Arkansas: 19.1 percent in 2015, 18.9 percent in 2014 (0.2 percent increase)
  • Louisiana: 19.6 percent in 2015, 19.8 percent in 2014 (-0.2 percent decrease)
  • Tennessee: 16.7 percent in 2015, 18.3 percent in 2014 (-1.6 percent decrease)

Adam Ganucheau, as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief, oversees the newsroom and works with the editorial team to fulfill our mission of producing high-quality journalism in the public interest. Adam has covered politics and state government for Mississippi Today since February 2016. A native of Hazlehurst, Adam has worked as a staff reporter for AL.com, The Birmingham News and The Clarion-Ledger and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Adam earned his bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Mississippi.