LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska's median household income grew more than any other state's last year, according to new U.S. Census data released Thursday.
The Census report shows that Nebraska's median income increased last year by more than $300 per family, to $48,408, which is 0.7 percent jump over 2009's figure. Only Washington, D.C., had a bigger jump, at 0.8 percent.
Nebraska was one of only five states, not counting the nation's capital, where the median income grew. The others were South Dakota, North Dakota, West Virginia and Virginia.
Overall, real income in the United States declined 2.2 percent, from $51,190 in 2009 to $50,046 last year.
Nebraska also stood out compared to neighboring Iowa and Kansas, which saw small net losses, said David Drozd, research coordinator at the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Drozd said the data also didn't account for cost-of-living differences, which would have widened the gap further.
"The income that we have here does stretch further due to a relatively low cost of goods and services," Drozd said. "When you couple the income declines in places like California, along with their high cost of living, it's kind of a double-whammy."