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New Jersey, Delaware Among Richest States In The Country

(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the economy continues to struggle and the income gap widens, residents the country’s richest states continue to prosper.

That’s the takeaway from a new roundup of the nation’s richest states, which include New Jersey and Delaware.

The list, compiled by 24/7 Wall St., used information on household income, health insurance coverage, employment and poverty from the 2012 U.S. Census as well as information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on 2012 unemployment to determine which states came out on top.

Somewhat surprisingly, Maryland is the richest state. Not only was it the only state where the median household income was over $70,000 a year, but it also boasts a low unemployment rate – just 6.8% compared to the national average of 8.1%.

The Garden State came in second wealthiest, with a median household income of $69,667. But the list acknowledges that the high average income in New Jersey is due in part to its large number of extremely wealthy households – more than 11% had household incomes over $200,000 a year.

Still, the news isn’t very good for New Jesrey: The state’s unemployment rate was 9.5% in 2012, one of the worst in the nation, and the number of people on food stamps increased from 8% in 2011 to 9.3% in 2012, mirroring a national trend.

Delaware, meanwhile, ranked the tenth richest state. The median household income was $58,415, and the unemployment rate was relatively low, at 7.1%.

As for Pennsylvania? The Keystone State came in at 21, with an unemployment rate of 7.9% and a median income of just over $50,000.

West Virginia, Arkansas and Mississippi rounded out the bottom three. Mississippi’s 24.2% poverty rate is the highest in the nation by more than three percentage points, and the state is the third worst for income inequality, behind only New York and Connecticut.

To see the full list, click here.

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