By Tami Luhby @CNNMoneySeptember 20, 2012: 7:39 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Mississippi once again leads the nation in poverty and lags in median household income.
According to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday. Mississippi had a poverty rate of 22.6% in 2011, while its median household income came in at $36,919. Both were roughly the same as the year before.
Median household income declined in 18 states between 2010 and 2011, with Nevada registering the largest drop of 6%. In the remaining states, it stayed statistically the same. Maryland once again had the highest median household income, coming in at $70,004.
Meanwhile, the percentage of people in poverty increased in 17 states.
Vermont was the only state where median household income increased and the number and share of people in poverty fell.
The District of Columbia had the highest income inequality, while Wyoming had the most equal incomes.
Nationally, Census figures showed that median household income was $50,054 in 2011, down 1.5% from a year earlier. Income inequality widened, as the highest income echelon experienced a jump, while those in the middle saw income shrink.