This Is the Least Successful State in the U.S.

Financial challenges and low wages are taking a toll on this one state.

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Success—or a lack thereof—can often be in the eye of the beholder. While some people see money and material wealth as the basic definition of success, others might point to more intangible things, like one's happiness or sense of fulfillment. But when it comes to determining whether a state as a whole is more or less successful than others, it's important to use the most recent and measurable data points available. To start, we looked at the ratio of millionaires to total households in the state, compiled by Phoenix Marketing International, as well as the median household income, according to the U.S. Census (the lower these numbers, the less successful the state was considered). We combined these metrics with those that indicated economic challenges, including which states had the highest poverty rate, per the U.S. Census, and highest unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Taking all of these numbers into account, we came up with a final "Unsuccessful Score" for each state.

In the end, the state that's struggling the most may surprise you. Though it is known for its glitz and glamour, this western state has seen many setbacks, especially in 2020. It has an extremely high poverty rate and one of the worst unemployment rates in the country. Additionally, the median household income is only around $63,000, which is a staggering $23,000 less than the most successful state. To find out which state fared the worst, scroll through our ranking from the most successful to the least successful states. And for more state rivalries, This Is the Most Hated State in America.

50
Maryland

city skyline and Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Maryland in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 8.85 percent

Poverty rate: 9 percent

Median household income: $86,738

Unemployment rate: 7.2 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 0.26

And for more places that are struggling this year, This Is the Worst State to Live in Right Now.

49
Utah

cityscape photo of Salt Lake City, Utah at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 6.39 percent

Poverty rate: 8.9 percent

Median household income: $75,780

Unemployment rate: 5 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 1.89

48
Colorado

landscape photo of Cottonwood Pass, Colorado in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 7.48 percent

Poverty rate: 9.3 percent

Median household income: $77,127

Unemployment rate: 6.4 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 8.24

And for more states that could look better, This Is the Ugliest State in the U.S.

47
New Hampshire

townscape photo of Portsmouth, New Hampshire at sunset
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 6.06 percent

Poverty rate: 7.3 percent

Median household income: $77,933

Unemployment rate: 6 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 8.48

46
Nebraska

cityscape photo of Omaha, Nebraska in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.74 percent

Poverty rate: 9.9 percent

Median household income: $63,229

Unemployment rate: 3.5 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 8.54

45
Vermont

Church Street in Burlington, Vermont at night.
iStock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.79 percent

Poverty rate: 10.2 percent

Median household income: $63,001

Unemployment rate: 4.2 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 8.67

44
New Jersey

city skyline and the Passaic River in Newark, New Jersey
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 6.69 percent

Poverty rate: 9.2 percent

Median household income: $85,751

Unemployment rate: 6.7 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 12.55

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43
Connecticut

landscape photo of Shelton, Connecticut in the morning
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 8.89 percent

Poverty rate: 10 percent

Median household income: $78,833

Unemployment rate: 7.8 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 12.91

42
Alaska

skyline photo with the Chugach mountains in Anchorage, Alaska at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 8.18 percent

Poverty rate: 10.1 percent

Median household income: $75,463

Unemployment rate: 7.2 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 14.22

41
Minnesota

Minnesota
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 6.00 percent

Poverty rate: 9 percent

Median household income: $74,593

Unemployment rate: 6 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 15.70

40
Wisconsin

city skyline and Lake Michigan at twilight in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.83 percent

Poverty rate: 10.4 percent

Median household income: $64,168

Unemployment rate: 5.4 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 20.39

39
Virginia

downtown skyline and river in Richmond, Virginia at twilight
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.45 percent

Poverty rate: 9.9 percent

Median household income: $76,456

Unemployment rate: 6.2 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 23.6

38
North Dakota

cityscape photo Fargo, North Dakota in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.73 percent

Poverty rate: 10.6 percent

Median household income: $64,577

Unemployment rate: 4.4 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 26.54

37
Massachusetts

the Boston Harbor in Boston, Massachusetts at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 8.60 percent

Poverty rate: 9.4 percent

Median household income: $85,843

Unemployment rate: 9.6 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 27.78

36
South Dakota

downtown area of Rapid City, South Dakota in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.89 percent

Poverty rate: 11.9 percent

Median household income: $59,533

Unemployment rate: 4.1 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 28.76

35
Wyoming

landscape photo of the Devils Tower in Crook County, Wyoming at sunrise
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.45 percent

Poverty rate: 10.1 percent

Median household income: $65,003

Unemployment rate: 6.1 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 28.92

34
Iowa

cityscape photo of Des Moines, Iowa at sunset
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.10 percent

Poverty rate: 11.2 percent

Median household income: $61,691

Unemployment rate: 4.7 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 30

33
Maine

Lighthouse in Portland, Maine during the evening
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.60 percent

Poverty rate: 10.9 percent

Median household income: $58,924

Unemployment rate: 6.1 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 33.24

32
Missouri

cityscape photo of St. Louis, Missouri at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.43 percent

Poverty rate: 12.9 percent

Median household income: $57,409

Unemployment rate: 4.9 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 36.77

31
Kansas

cityscape photo of Wichita, Kansas at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.48 percent

Poverty rate: 11.4 percent

Median household income: $62,087

Unemployment rate: 5.9 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 39.56

30
Montana

landscape photo of Glacier National Park, Montana in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.30 percent

Poverty rate: 12.6 percent

Median household income: $57,153

Unemployment rate: 5.3 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 40.97

29
Delaware

city skyline and Christiana River in Wilmington, Delaware
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 6.70 percent

Poverty rate: 11.3 percent

Median household income: $70,176

Unemployment rate: 8.2 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 41.56

28
Washington

Pier 66 at dusk in downtown Seattle, Washington
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.86 percent

Poverty rate: 9.8 percent

Median household income: $78,687

Unemployment rate: 7.8 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 42.61

27
South Carolina

downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.08 percent

Poverty rate: 13.8 percent

Median household income: $56,227

Unemployment rate: 5.1 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 44.69

26
Idaho

cityscape photo of Boise, Idaho in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.76 percent

Poverty rate: 11.2 percent

Median household income: $60,999

Unemployment rate: 6.1 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 46.9

25
Indiana

USA War Memorials and city skyline in Indianapolis, Indiana at twilight
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.23 percent

Poverty rate: 11.9 percent

Median household income: $57,603

Unemployment rate: 6.2 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 48.17

24
Tennessee

cityscape photo of Memphis, Tennessee in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.21 percent

Poverty rate: 13.9 percent

Median household income: $56,071

Unemployment rate: 6.3 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 48.59

23
Georgia

cityscape photo of Atlanta, Georgia at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.67 percent

Poverty rate: 13.3 percent

Median household income: $61,980

Unemployment rate: 6.4 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 48.89

22
Arizona

cityscape photo of Phoenix, Arizona at night
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.78 percent

Poverty rate: 13.5 percent

Median household income: $62,055

Unemployment rate: 6.7 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 51.62

21
California

cityscape photo of Los Angeles, California in the morning
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 8.51 percent

Poverty rate: 11.8 percent

Median household income: $80,440

Unemployment rate: 11 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 52.36

20
Florida

cityscape photo of Daytona Beach, Florida in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.47 percent

Poverty rate: 12.7 percent

Median household income: $59,227

Unemployment rate: 7.6 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 54.46

19
Texas

city skyline on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 6.32 percent

Poverty rate: 13.6 percent

Median household income: $64,034

Unemployment rate: 8.3 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 55.38

18
Oklahoma

cityscape photo of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.51 percent

Poverty rate: 15.2 percent

Median household income: $54,449

Unemployment rate: 5.3 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 56.05

17
Pennsylvania

city skyline on the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.75 percent

Poverty rate: 12 percent

Median household income: $63,463

Unemployment rate: 8.1 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 60.64

16
Oregon

cityscape photo of Eugene, Oregon at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.12 percent

Poverty rate: 11.4 percent

Median household income: $67,058

Unemployment rate: 8 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 60.77

15
Alabama

cityscape photo of Birmingham, Alabama at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.87 percent

Poverty rate: 15.5 percent

Median household income: $51,734

Unemployment rate: 6.6 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 61.11

14
Kentucky

cityscape photo of Frankfort, Kentucky at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.71 percent

Poverty rate: 16.3 percent

Median household income: $52,295

Unemployment rate: 5.6 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 61.93

13
North Carolina

cityscape photo of Raleigh, North Carolina in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.87 percent

Poverty rate: 13.6 percent

Median household income: $57,341

Unemployment rate: 7.3 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 67.1

12
Michigan

cityscape photo of Kalamazoo, Michigan in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.82 percent

Poverty rate: 13 percent

Median household income: $59,584

Unemployment rate: 8.5 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 69.06

11
New York

Manhattan Skyline and Brooklyn Bridge in New York, New York in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.25 percent

Poverty rate: 13 percent

Median household income: $72,108

Unemployment rate: 9.7 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 71.57

10
Illinois

the downtown area and bean in Chicago, Illinois
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.50 percent

Poverty rate: 11.5 percent

Median household income: $69,187

Unemployment rate: 10.2 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 71.66

9
Rhode Island

Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island at sunset
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.32 percent

Poverty rate: 10.8 percent

Median household income: $71,169

Unemployment rate: 10.5 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 72.92

8
Ohio

city skyline on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.89 percent

Poverty rate: 13.1 percent

Median household income: $58,642

Unemployment rate: 8.4 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 75.80

7
Hawaii

cityscape view of Waikiki, Hawaii at sunrise
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 9.20 percent

Poverty rate: 9.3 percent

Median household income: $83,102

Unemployment rate: 15.1 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 79.35

6
Arkansas

cityscape photo of Fayetteville, Arkansas in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.71 percent

Poverty rate: 16.2 percent

Median household income: $48,952

Unemployment rate: 7.3 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 80.3

5
Mississippi

Lamar Life Building in Jackson, Mississippi in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.94 percent

Poverty rate: 19.6 percent

Median household income: $45,792

Unemployment rate: 7.1 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 88.35

4
West Virginia

buildings and church in the town of Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.60 percent

Poverty rate: 16 percent

Median household income: $48,850

Unemployment rate: 8.6 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 93.58

3
Louisiana

street cars in New Orleans, Louisiana in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 3.79 percent

Poverty rate: 19 percent

Median household income: $51,073

Unemployment rate: 8.1 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 95.04

2
New Mexico

cityscape photo of Santa Fe, New Mexico at dusk
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 4.07 percent

Poverty rate: 18.2 percent

Median household income: $51,945

Unemployment rate: 9.4 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 103.1

1
Nevada

the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Percentage of millionaires in the state: 5.13 percent

Poverty rate: 12.5 percent

Median household income: $63,276

Unemployment rate: 12.6 percent

Unsuccessful Score: 104.39

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