The Department of Health and Human Services this week released its annual list of the estimated state median income for four-person families, and Maryland, for the first time, comes out on top with $105,348.
The Free State traditionally comes in second or third, behind New Jersey or Connecticut. But Maryland incomes, per the list, were bumped up by more than $3,000 in the last year, breaking the $105,000 barrier and carrying the state to No. 1.
Virginia is sixth, with $90,109 and D.C. is seventh, with a four-person median income of $87,902.
The list is based on three years of Census data, to avoid the large year-to-year fluctuations that single-year estimates tend to generate.
The annual breakdown is required by law so that states can determine who may be eligible for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. Families that earn less than 60 percent of the state median income may be eligible for utility aid, though it’s only one of several criteria.
Maryland received $66.4 million in federal LIHEAP grants in fiscal year 2013, out of the $3 billion distributed to the states, the District and the territories. Virginia picked up $74.8 million and D.C. $9.7 million.