JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – For businesses and workers expecting a great tip in the Magnolia state, getting even 15% will be a challenge.

According to an analysis done by USA TODAY, average tips from Mississippians are the second lowest in the U.S. at 14.98%. Of the states that tip the least, half of them are in the South (West Virginia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Mississippi). Only three states known in part for Southern hospitality -Georgia, Florida and Missouri- are among the 10 states that tip the best nationally. 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a tipped employee is someone who customarily and regularly receives more than $30 monthly in tips. The federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour if that amount combined with the tips received equals the federal minimum wage of $7.25. If it does not, the employer must make up the difference. In Mississippi, there is no minimum wage law, so federal law applies. 

Who tips the most?

USA TODAY’s data shows a correlation between how much people tip and how much people make annually. Below are the numbers nationally. 

  • Less than $30,000: 15.04%
  • $31,000-$60,000: 16.32%
  • $61,000-$90,000: 18.45%
  • $91,000-$120,000: 19.16%
  • $120,000+: 20.66%

Most age groups, however, tip similarly.

  • Generation Z (born 1997-2012): 17.88%
  • Millennials (1981-1996): 18.18%
  • Generation X (1965-1980): 17.53%
  • Baby Boomers (1946-1964): 17.92%
  • Silent Generation (1928-1945): 15.16%

The state of tipping

Part of the reason why tipping rates may be so low relates to inflation. $100 in September 2019 has the same buying power as $119.87 four years later. Meanwhile, most Americans feel like too many places are asking for tips, including businesses that have historically not asked for tips. 

This includes nearly three out of five respondents to a USA TODAY poll who have been asked for a tip for takeout for the first time. Forty percent of poll respondents were asked to tip for retail or in-store purchases for the first time.