Federal and state policymakers, as well as community planners, use median household income as indicators of current economic conditions within communities across the U.S.
Last year, median household incomes ranged from $116,005 in the San Francisco metro area to $62,951 in Tampa, according to the Census Bureau’s 2021 Household Income survey. The median household income nationwide was $69,717, up from $69,639 in 2019.
Between 2019 and 2021, there was a “statistically significant” increase in median household income in the Atlanta, Seattle and Tampa metro areas. There was also a notable decrease in the Chicago, Houston, New York City and San Francisco metro areas. At the national level, the Census Bureau noted that the median household income did not show a statistically significant increase for the first time since 2013.
The recovery from the pandemic has been uneven across major U.S. metro areas, Bloomberg reported. In Dallas, employment grew by 234,300 since 2019, but the city fell by two rankings for median income with 75,975. Houston saw a similar drop in household income to 70,893 in 2021 (down from 73,329 in 2019).
Only four metro areas — San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Boston — had a median household income above $100,000 in 2021. Seattle overtook Boston for spot No. 3 with $101,721, while San Diego took fifth place from Denver with 91,003.
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