The latest report from the United States Census Bureau shows a sobering economic reality: dwindling household incomes in about a third of the country.

According to the American Community Survey, the Bureau’s annual socio-economic survey of the US population, household incomes in seventeen states went down in 2022, while only five states reported improvement in their median income.

Most of those that reported lower incomes are located in the upper portion of the American Midwest. These include Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, three states that could possibly change the tenor of next year’s US presidential election.

Florida, Alabama and Utah were among states that saw incomes rise. The majority of the other states showed relatively little change from 2021, according to the survey.

Considerable Highs and Sobering Lows

Overall, median income throughout the UNited States in 2022 was lower by 0.8% from where it was in 2021. After adjusting for inflation, this came to around $74,755 per household on average.

New Jersey reported the highest in terms of median income at $96,346, while Mississippi had the lowest at $52,719.

The survey also noted that the number of older people living below the poverty line was up in nineteen states, though the poverty rate among those 65 years old and above remained static in 31 states.

Southern states like Louisiana and Mississippi reported that around 15% of their elderly citizens lived in poverty in 2022, but even wealthier states reported that at least one in every eight elderly citizens lived below the poverty line.