PewTrusst - In more than one-third of the nation’s counties, the inflation-adjusted median income has dropped by 10 percent or more since 2000, according to a Stateline analysis of the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates from the Census Bureau.
In many of them, the drop in income can be traced to the disappearance of manufacturing jobs. In 57 percent of the U.S. counties classified as “manufacturing-dependent” in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, median income dropped by 10 percent or more. Just 25 percent of other counties experienced a decline that dramatic.
More than three-quarters of the counties in Michigan, Indiana, Georgia and South Carolina experienced median income declines of 10 percent or more. In Hawaii, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Wyoming, there were no counties in that category.
The 10 counties with the biggest drops include many known for manufacturing, including counties around Detroit and Flint in Michigan, and North Carolina’s Wilkes County, which lost textile and furniture manufacturing jobs. Five of the 10 counties are in Georgia, around Atlanta and Macon.
Nine of the 10 counties where income increased the most — 45 percent or more in inflation-adjusted dollars — are in North Dakota, beneficiary of an oil boom. Six more in the top 20 were in oil-rich regions of Texas, such as Midland County, and neighboring New Mexico.
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