3 min read
The 2012 – 2016 American Community Survey is a massive 5-year study conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau that provides estimates on different demographic and housing numbers across the U.S.
I recently dug into this data to analyze median household incomes across the U.S.
Visualizing Household Incomes
First, here’s a look at the median household income by state:
Maryland leads the way with a median household income above $76k, closely followed by Alaska ($74k) and New Jersey ($73k).
Mississippi ranks last with a median household income of just above $40k, with Arkansas ($42k) and West Virgina ($42k) only slightly higher.
Visualizing the Top 10%
Next, I looked at the top 10% of median household income cities in each state:
How to interpret this chart: The cities in the top 10% of median household incomes in New Jersey all had a median household income of $128,180 or higher.
Visualizing the Bottom 10%
Then I looked at the bottom 10% of median household income cities in each state:
How to interpret this chart: The cities in the bottom 10% of median household incomes in Mississippi all had a median household income of $21,187 or lower.
Visualizing the Top 10% vs. the Bottom 10%
Lastly, I looked at the difference between the top 10% and the bottom 10% of median household income cities in each state:
Virginia had the greatest difference between the top 10% and bottom 10% of median household income cities with a difference of $87,290.
Idaho had the smallest difference with the top 10% and bottom 10% only being separated by $27,250.
Nerd Notes: The American Community Survey provided estimates on the median household income for each state in the U.S. as well as median household incomes for each individual city. To find the bottom 10% and top 10% of cities, I exported the data to R, where I found the household income quantiles for each state. I visualized the results using Excel. Later this week I’ll be sharing a post that shows household income data for 30,000+ individual cities in the U.S.
Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.
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