Fact-check: Did West Virginia Rank 50th in Household Income in 2017?

Jan 2, 2019

In a Nov. 8 op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Mike Romano, a Democratic West Virginia state senator, said West Virginia’s median household income was nearly $17,000 below the national average.

“In 2017, West Virginia’s $43,469 median household income was $16,867 below the national average, ranking 50th, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,” Romano wrote.

Is that correct? We took a closer look.

In September 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report that included data for household income in 2017.

The figure for the United States was $60,336, while the figure for West Virginia was $43,469. The difference is exactly $16,867, as Romano said.

Meanwhile, we ranked the 50 states by household income and found that West Virginia ranked last, trailing Mississippi by $60.

Here’s the full ranking:

Our ruling

Romano wrote, “In 2017, West Virginia’s $43,469 median household income was $16,867 below the national average, ranking 50th according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”

His statement is fully correct — on West Virginia’s median household income, on its distance from the national average, and in its 50th place ranking.

We rate the statement True.

This story was originally published by PolitiFact.