Wonder where the money is in the U.S.? This factoid compares the percentage breakdown between the number of counties and their total personal income. It looks at the distribution of personal income among the 3,141 counties by total county income range and categorizes the highest to lowest total personal income.
The highest income counties (over $50 billion in personal income) only number 46 (1% of total counties); however, they are responsible for one-third of the total U.S. personal income.
Top 10 Counties (over $50 Billion in personal income)
1. Los Angeles, CA –Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Market
2. Cook, IL –Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Market
3. Harris, TX –Houston-Sugarland-Baytown Market
4. New York, NY –New York-White Plains-Wayne Market
5. Orange, CA –Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine Market
6. San Diego, CA –San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos Market
7. Maricopa, AZ –Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale Market
8. Santa Clara, CA –San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Market
9. King, WA –Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Market
10. Dallas, TX –Dallas-Plano-Irving Market
Although the top two county income ranges, Over $50 Billion and $10 Billion to $50 Billion, are only 8% of total counties (238 counties), they make up 68% of total personal income . The middle range, $1 Billion to $10 Billion, contribute 27% to personal income and has the largest number of counties –39% and totaling 1,214.
Well over half the counties in the country (1,664) are responsible for just 5% of total personal income.
While the previous factoid profiled states by their median household incomes, this factoid digs deeper by profiling at the county level. Only 99 counties are in the highest range with households earning a median income over $75,000 –accounting for 3.2%.
While the second highest range includes the U.S. median of $53,046 at its start point, it goes up to $75,000 and makes up 17.4% of total counties.
The next two ranges combined, households earning between $30,000 and $53,046, account for 75% of the country and include 2,361 of the 3,161 counties, while households earning a median income under $30,000 made up only 4.3%.
Looking at the 5 counties with the highest median income, the top 3 are in Virginia and part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria market. With only 4,857 households, Falls Church City, VA has a median income of $122,884 –132% higher than the U.S. median of $53,046. Also with median incomes well over $100,000, Loudoun and Fairfax, VA have a greater number of households –a combined 492,647.
Both the fourth and fifth highest counties have a median income 100% greater than the U.S. median. Howard, MD is in the large Baltimore MSA market, while Los Alamos, NM is in a Micro SA market with only 7,498 households.
Looking at the profile of how individual states compare to the total U.S. median income of $53,046, only two, Maryland and New Jersey, have median incomes over $70,000. Also well over the U.S. median, the next range of $60,000 to $70,000, has nine states that account for 17.6% of the state count.
Together, the two median ranges $53,046 to $60,000 and $45,000 to $53,046 make up 30 states and account for 58.8%. The lowest range of states include median incomes under $45,000 and consists of 10 states or 19.6%.
The 5 states with the highest median household income are Maryland, New Jersey, Alaska, Connecticut, and Hawaii. With a median income of $72,999, Maryland is 38% higher than the U.S. median income of $53,046. Also in the top income range, New Jersey has a median income of $71,637 –above the U.S. median by 35%.
Both Alaska and Connecticut are 31% higher than the country’s median income with their own state median income’s above $69,000. Rounding out the top 5 states, Hawaii has a median income of $67,492 –27% greater than the U.S. median income.
Although Bedding Sales decreased by (-1.8%) from the first quarter of 2014, the Bedding Industry is up 4.0% compared to sales in the same quarter last year. Note that historically Bedding sales typically decline in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. Year-to-date, sales are up 3.9%.
After a slump in 2014Q1, the Industry increased 3.3% in quarter 2 with sales totaling $21.80 billion. Combined Furniture and Bedding increased 3.1% from the second quarter of 2013.
Furniture (excluding Bedding) experienced an increase of 2.9% over 2013Q2 and rose significantly since the first quarter of 2014 – up 4.2%. Although Bedding declined (-1.8%) over last quarter, sales are still up 4.0% from 2013Q2.
Despite the improving economy, median household incomes remain flat well after the Great Recession’s bottom in 2009. According to the Census Bureau’s report, median household income, adjusted for inflation, was $51,017 in 2012 – down (- 8.3%) from 2007 and (-4.3%) from 2009.
In 2012, the top 20% of households (Highest Fifth) were responsible for over 50% of the total income generated in the United States – the top 5 percent contributing 22.3% to the overall total. Although the Fourth Fifth quintile contributed 23.0% to the total income in 2012, the 60% of households below it only earned a combined share of 25.9%.
The Highest Fifth of households increased their share of income from 2002 to 2012 by growing from 49.7% to 51.0%, while the lower 80% of households all decreased their shares of the total income earned during the same 10 year span.
The slow and even stagnant growth is strongly depicted by the middle and lower quintiles from 2007 to 2012. While the Lowest Fifth of households increased their mean incomes by 16% from 2002 to 2007, they decreased by (-1%) from 2007 to 2012. Both the Second Fifth and Third Fifth quintiles had minimal growth of 1.5% from 2007 to 2012 after increasing 16.5% in the previous 5 year span.
The Fourth Fifth household, traditionally the core of the furniture industry, had a steady increase of 18% from 2002 to 2007, but has shown a disappointing growth of only 4% in mean income from 2007 to 2012. While the Highest Fifth gained most of it’s income growth from 2002 to 2007, it did increase by 8% the following five years.
Unlike the bottom 80%, the Top 5 Percent kept up their steady growth rate from 2007 to 2012 by increasing 11% in mean household income – further widening the income gap from the rest of the population.
U.S. households are frequently divided by the Department of Commerce into equal “fifths” in terms of mean (average) income. This division helps track the movement of households within the income classes, i.e. Poverty, Lower Income, Middle Income, Upper Income, and High Income.
Looking at the mean household income from 2002 to 2012, the slow growth of the lower 80% of households is apparent, while the top 20% is growing at a steady rate with the top 5 percent adding to the widening gap between the middle class and high income households.
Both the Highest Fifth and Top 5 percent of households grew 27% from 2002. The Top 5 percent jumped from a mean income of $251,000 in 2002 to $318,052 in 2012, while the highest 20% overall increased from $143,743 to $181,905.
In 2012, the mean household income for the Fourth Fifth quintile was $82,098 and $51,179 for the Third Fifth – both increasing an average of 21% from 2002. The lowest 2/5th of households increased their mean incomes by an average of 16%.
Bedding sales jumped by 11.5% in the first quarter of 2014 after a disappointing slump in late 2013. This growth in sales allowed the Bedding Industry to match and slightly surpass sales in the same quarter as last year. Year-to-date, sales are up 0.25%.
*Historical data has been revised