4. Kentucky Median household income
: $41,141 Population
: 4,369,356 (25th lowest) Unemployment rate
: 9.5% (13th highest) Pct. below poverty line
: 19.1% (5th highest)
Kentucky’s unemployment rate of 9.5%, while not as high as states such as South Carolina and Mississippi, was well above the national rate of 8.9%. The employment rate will likely stay high in the near future as mining, a major industry in Kentucky, has declined in the past year due to a drop in natural gas prices. Severe poverty plagues the state, as 6.9% of families earned less than $10,000 in 2011, the fourth lowest of all states. Meanwhile, a mere 3% of Kentucky families earned more than $200,000 a year, the seventh-lowest rate in the country. Fortunately for those with lower incomes, Kentucky has the fourth-lowest cost of living in the U.S., including the second-lowest cost of living for groceries.
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