Median household income in the U.S. increased by $1,500 during President Donald Trump's first year in office, but Texas still ranks in the middle.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey, Texas ranks 23rd in the nation for household wealth with a median income of $59,206, but falls far behind other states when it comes to high school education and producing highly skilled workers.
“Our schools are not adequately funded and we have a lot issues in terms of college preparedness and college readiness,” says economist Ray Perryman. “Even schools that are ranked in the top group, a lot of them are not preparing kids properly for college.”
“Eighty-percent of the people who grow up in Texas stay in Texas,” he says. “So those kids are going to be our workforce in the future. If we want to keep getting all the good numbers we're getting in the Texas economy now, it's really imperative we improve our education system.”
Perryman says actual wealth in Texas ebbs and flows with the oil industry.
“We're usually a little bit above the middle of the pack in the years when oil is doing really well, and below the middle of the pack when oil is doing not so well,” he says. “The reason for that is that oil jobs tend to be very high-paying jobs even for people without a great deal of education and training.”
Maryland was the number with a median household income of $80,776. West Virginia was last at $43,469.