Median household income

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Why This Indicator Matters

Median household income is frequently used to compare economic status and living standards between different cities, states, or countries. On an individual household level, household income is used to determine if a household can afford to make payments on a mortgage on a home.


What the data shows
In 2016, the rural counties of Washington and Piscataquis had median household incomes about $30,000 less than the urban southern Maine counties of Cumberland and York.  Since 2012, .the median household income increased 13% statewide, but the rural counties of Piscataquis, Washington and Aroostook Counties have had their median incomes increase 0.2%, 3% and 5% respectively.
So not only do these counties have low median household incomes, the differences in median income between these counties and other counties is getting larger.  The counties with the largest increases in median household income were: Waldo (21%), Franklin (19%), Hancock (18%), and Cumberland (18%).
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Definitions: The estimated median household income, which is the dollar amount that divides the income distribution into two equal groups - half with income above the median and half with income below the median. Beginning in 2005, these estimates are modeled from combined census estimates, American Community Surveys, and other administrative and economic data. Estimates for 2004 and previous years are modeled from combined census estimates, Current Population Surveys, and other administrative and economic data.

Data Source: All estimates are from the U.S. Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program.

Footnotes: Years 2005-2016 SAIPE estimates are not directly comparable to 2004 and previous years because the data used to model the estimates has changed.

Household income considers the incomes of all persons 15 years or older occupying the same housing unit, regardless if they are related. A single person occupying a dwelling by himself is also considered a household.


Updated April 2018