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Exploring Michigan's Median Wage and Wage Range Compared to Other States

Michigan’s statewide median wage across all occupations in 2023 was $22.57 per hour, or $46,940 annually. The median wage represents the wage where 50 percent of positions pay both above and below this wage. Comparatively, the median wage for the United States was $23.11.

Michigan’s rank for median wage has experienced slight variation, positioning between 20th and 25th in the United States since 2015. Michigan’s median wage in 2023 has continued to remain roughly in the middle of all states, placing 26th. It stands between the median hourly wages of Utah ($22.60) and Ohio ($22.45).

Massachusetts had the highest median wage at $29.18 per hour. The remaining top five states were Washington, New York, Alaska, and Connecticut. Mississippi’s median wage of $18.03 was the lowest and 75 cents lower than Arkansas, the next closest state. West Virginia, Louisiana, and Alabama were among the five states with the lowest median wage, all less than $20 per hour. There was a spread of $11.15 between the median wage of Massachusetts and Mississippi.

Michigan's median wage ranks in the middle of all states.

Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Michigan’s Earnings Disparity is Low Compared to Most States

The top and bottom 10 percent of a state’s wages can be compared to create a ratio of income disparity. This looks at the difference between the highest and lowest earners. The ratio of income disparity in Michigan was 3.58. This means that wage earners in the top 10 percent made 258% more than the earners in the bottom 10 percent.

The United States had an overall income ratio of 4.18. Although Michigan ranked 26th in terms of median wage, it ranked 37th when it comes to the income disparity ratio. This places Michigan in the lower third of states when comparing income disparities, meaning that Michigan has a more uniform wage rate than most other states.

Virginia, Texas, Maryland, California, and Louisiana, were the states with the largest ratio, each with rates at or above 4.40. South Dakota, Maine, Arkansas, and Vermont had the lowest ratios, all at or less than 3.25.

Michigan’s low-income disparity ranking is the result of having a relatively stable wage distribution. The top and median earners ranked among the middle of all U.S. states. Michigan’s lowest earners rank in the top 40 percent across the U.S. This means, unlike many other states, the workers with the lowest wage in Michigan earn a salary that is more aligned with the highest earners in the state. The gap between the highest and lowest earners in Michigan is $35.83

Michigan’s income disparity ratio ranked 37th among states.

Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics



Rank State Median Hourly Wage Income Disparity Ratio


Virginia $24.00 4.66
2 Texas $22.10 4.60
3 Maryland $26.83 4.46
4 California $25.98 4.45
5 Louisiana $19.87 4.40
35 Tennessee $21.07 3.67
36 Kentucky $21.02 3.61
37 Michigan $22.57 3.58
38 Missouri $21.67 3.56
39 Wisconsin $22.88 3.53
46 North Dakota $23.47 3.29
47 Vermont $23.86 3.25
48 Arkansas $18.78 3.20
49 Maine $22.88 3.10
50 South Dakota $21.00 3.02

Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Disparity Between the Highest and Lowest Earners is Larger for Occupation Groups with the Greatest Wages

The ratio between earners in the top and bottom 10 percent can also be used to measure the wage distribution of Michigan’s major occupation groups. Using a ratio, instead of a nominal difference between the two wages, provides the ability to draw comparisons between the wages of occupations at different ends of the spectrum.

The figure below shows the relationship between the median hourly wage and the ratio between the highest and lowest 10 percent for the major occupation groups in Michigan during 2023. The increasing height of the data displayed on the right of the graph demonstrates a positive relationship between the wage and income disparity ratio. The major occupation groups with median earning less than $30 per hour have a ratio closer to 2.5, while the groups with wages above $30 per hour have a ratio closer to 3.25.

Higher median wages are associated with greater disparity between earners at the opposite end of the earnings distribution among major occupation groups.

Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Major groups with the smallest earning disparity ratio belong to Healthcare support occupations and Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations. Both groups have ratios under 2, meaning that the top 10 percent of workers are paid less than double than the lowest 10 percent. These occupation groups were also among the lowest paying of all the major groups.

Occupation groups with the highest ratios consisted of Management; Legal; Sales related; and Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations. These four major groups were the only major groups with ratios above the state’s overall disparity ratio of 3.58. This means these occupations pay the top 10 percent of earners nearly four times more than the lowest paid 10 percent of workers.