Arkansas: Second poorest state in the nation

Even though the economy is beginning to improve, new numbers from the US Census Bureau shows household income remained relatively unchanged last year.

That's bad news for Arkansans who are being listed as living in the second poorest state in the nation by 24/7 Wall Street, a financial analysis and commentary website.

Researchers found:

{>} Median household income: $40,112
{>} Population: 2,949,131 (19th lowest)
{>} Unemployment rate: 7.3% (tied-22nd highest)
{>} Pct. below poverty line: 19.8% (4th highest)

Arkansas was one of just three states, along with Mississippi and West Virginia, with a median household income $10,000 below the U.S. median. The state's poverty rate, at nearly 20%, was also among the highest in the country. Despite these problems, unemployment dropped from 7.9% in 2011 to 7.3% last year. Arkansas was also one of the nation's worst states for food insecurity, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Between 2010 and 2012, an estimated 19.8% of households had little or very little secure access to food, above the 14.7% figure for all U.S. households.

The only state poorer than Arkansas, according to 24/7 Wall Street, is Mississippi.

To see the complete report on all 50 states, click here.