Friday, August 23, 2013

Median Household Income Changes During and After the Great Recession

According to, the average American household is earning less than when the Great Recession ended four years ago. According to a report released Wednesday by Sentier Research,  U.S. median household income, once adjusted for inflation, has fallen 4.4 percent in that time. The report is based on an analysis of Census Bureau data.

The median, or midpoint, income in June 2013 was $52,098. That's down from $54,478 in June 2009, when the recession officially ended. And it's below the $55,480 that the median household took in when the recession began in December 2007. The report says nearly every group is worse off than four years ago, except for those 65 to 74. Some groups have experienced larger-than-average declines, including blacks, young and upper-middle-aged people and the unemployed.

Our local data is a bit harder to decipher. For one thing, when you are working with smaller populations, such as the population of a county, the data may not be available for individual years. In addition, with smaller data sets come larger variability typically, which potentially means larger margins of error. that being said, view the data below with a bit of caution.

What I have been able to cobble together is a a comparative of the three year American Community Survey estimates for the Herkimer-Oneida County region as a whole for the periods of 2006-2008, and 2009-2011. This allows us to at least get a glimpse of how out median household income data has changed over the short run during, and immediately after, the Great Recession. As more ACS data becomes available this fall from the Census Bureau, perhaps this will give us more insight.

At any rate, the table below provides you with three things: the 2010 (as the mid-year of the three year period 2009-2011) median household income data; the 2007 (as the mid-year of the 2006-2008 period) median household data; and a column indicating if they 2010 numbers are statistically higher, lower or no different than the 2008 data.

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