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LEADERSHIP

jason 2016 copyBy Jason Gray
Senior Fellow
Research & Policy

Median household income (MHI) is a benchmark that can help us better understand economic trends. By mapping MHI across the state and comparing data points over time, we can begin to see which areas are growing economically, and which areas are suffering.
 
CLICK ON THE MAPS TO ENLARGE

MHI 2000 2014 1
 
 
 
The first map shows MHI for 2014. There are only nine counties above the national MHI of $53,482. Of those, the three rural coastal counties — Dare, Currituck and Camden — are experiencing both suburban growth as a result of their connection to Virginia’s Tidewater region, as well as the growth of the local retirement population.

The five counties with the lowest MHI are all rural and have values below $30,000 a year. As we see in so many data sets, the lowest MHI values are clustered in a handful of places: the northeast, the southeast/South Carolina border counties, the northwest counties extending to the foothills and counties in the far southwest.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The second map shows the same data as a percentage of national MHI. The bottom five rural counties — Bertie, Bladen, Robeson, Scotland and Northampton — had percentages less  than 60 percent of the national MHI.
 
 
 
 
MHI 2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
The third map assesses percentage change over time in MHI.
 
There are three main takeaways:

1) Nearly all of North Carolina experienced a drop in adjusted MHI from 2000 to 2014. Even Wake and Mecklenberg counties, which have generated the most new employment growth, experienced modest declines in MHI.

2) There is a cluster of counties in the northwest foothills that have experienced significant declines in MHI. Many of these counties have lost manufacturing employment.

3) A handful of counties have shown positive MHI growth. Of the six counties, five are clustered in the far northeastern corner of the state – again, counties that have a growing economic connection to Norfolk/Virginia Beach. Hyde County is the sixth growth county. Hyde has one of the smallest populations in the state but has experienced a 15 percent increase of total wages during the period – a little over $8 million.

Next month we will take a deeper look at the rural counties with the highest and lowest MHI. We will also connect economic conditions to data showing health outcomes.
 

LEADERSHIP

jason 2016 copyBy Jason Gray
Senior Fellow
Research & Policy

Median household income (MHI) is a benchmark that can help us better understand economic trends. By mapping MHI across the state and comparing data points over time, we can begin to see which areas are growing economically, and which areas are suffering.
 
CLICK ON THE MAPS TO ENLARGE

MHI 2000 2014 1
 
 
 
The first map shows MHI for 2014. There are only nine counties above the national MHI of $53,482. Of those, the three rural coastal counties — Dare, Currituck and Camden — are experiencing both suburban growth as a result of their connection to Virginia’s Tidewater region, as well as the growth of the local retirement population.

The five counties with the lowest MHI are all rural and have values below $30,000 a year. As we see in so many data sets, the lowest MHI values are clustered in a handful of places: the northeast, the southeast/South Carolina border counties, the northwest counties extending to the foothills and counties in the far southwest.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The second map shows the same data as a percentage of national MHI. The bottom five rural counties — Bertie, Bladen, Robeson, Scotland and Northampton — had percentages less  than 60 percent of the national MHI.
 
 
 
 
MHI 2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
The third map assesses percentage change over time in MHI.
 
There are three main takeaways:

1) Nearly all of North Carolina experienced a drop in adjusted MHI from 2000 to 2014. Even Wake and Mecklenberg counties, which have generated the most new employment growth, experienced modest declines in MHI.

2) There is a cluster of counties in the northwest foothills that have experienced significant declines in MHI. Many of these counties have lost manufacturing employment.

3) A handful of counties have shown positive MHI growth. Of the six counties, five are clustered in the far northeastern corner of the state – again, counties that have a growing economic connection to Norfolk/Virginia Beach. Hyde County is the sixth growth county. Hyde has one of the smallest populations in the state but has experienced a 15 percent increase of total wages during the period – a little over $8 million.

Next month we will take a deeper look at the rural counties with the highest and lowest MHI. We will also connect economic conditions to data showing health outcomes.