Both profiles and base tables are also available in SAS/Dexter format in our data archive at acs2019.
The 2015-2019 ACS 5-year data will be available this December.
Educational attainment is an established, validated predictor of income. This map-of-the-month series looks at the distribution of both characteristics in Missouri’s counties. Derived from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS) 2012-2016 5-year data, Missouri households are mapped here by level of educational attainment and median household income, while a bivariate choropleth map displays the variable impact of earning less than a high school diploma on household income.
The bar chart, based on the 2016 ACS 1-year release, establishes the relative distribution of median household income by level of education. While the overall median household in Missouri realizes approximately $36,000 in income, the median household in Missouri headed by someone without a high school diploma or GED is closer to $20,000. Completing high school results in a bump of roughly $10,000, with the median household income of high school graduates a little more than $30,000. Completing some college or an associate’s (2-year degree) results in an incremental increase in household median income to the mid-$30,000 range, but it is completion of a bachelor’s degree or greater that accelerates median household income into the mid-$40,000 to mid-$50,000 range annually.
Educational attainment, however, is not the only driver of income. Access to workforce opportunities and proximity to infrastructure impacts potential income too. Review of the Median household income map reveals the influence of infrastructure investment and population density in driving up wages and income, as seen in the counties shaded in the darkest green. It’s also interesting to visually note the geographically layered gradation of quantiles of the state with the I-70 highway corridor connecting Missouri’s relatively high income metropolitan areas, and the agricultural northern tier of counties falling into the mid-quantiles, while lower income households concentrate in the southern tier of counties (with exception of income concentrating in the Springfield metro area).
Not surprisingly, a close look at the concentrations of level of educational attainment (the blue-scale maps), correlate at the county level to the median household income map fairly predictably: Populations with higher concentrations of higher levels of education also have higher median household incomes.
The bivariate choropleth map, Median household income by percent of adults with less than high school diploma or GED, lets us see the outliers as well as validating the correlations we anticipated. For example, the truer the shade of blue a county is coded, the higher the percent of the adult population without a high school diploma/GED and the higher median household income indicating some combination of higher wage job and income opportunities relative to educational qualifications. We see these on the periphery of the other end of the spectrum, counties with higher median household incomes and the lowest rates of households with low educational attainment, suggesting “bedroom” communities. Further study to confirm this pattern might include looking at patterns of in-migration over time and commuting patterns.
The 2013 American Community Survey (ACS), released today in its one-year version, provides a multitude of statistics that measure the social, economic and housing conditions of U.S. states, counties, and communities. More than 40 topics are available with today’s release, such as educational attainment, housing, employment, commuting, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs.
The ACS gives communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Retailers, homebuilders, police departments, and town and city planners are among the many private- and public-sector decision makers who count on these annual results.
“The American Community Survey is our country’s only source of small area estimates for social and demographic characteristics,” Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. “As such, it is indispensable to our economic competitiveness and used by businesses, local governments and anyone in need of trusted, timely, detailed data.”
Also released today are two reports providing analysis on income and poverty for states and large metropolitan areas. The ACS three- and five-year data for 2013 will be released in October and December of this year, respectively.
Following are some highlights of the new ACS 2013 one-year release and related reports.
Household Income: 2013 examined the Gini index for states and large metro areas. The Gini index is a summary measure of income inequality, ranging from 0 (complete equality) to 1 (complete inequality). Among the findings:
The 2013 American Community Survey included new questions to produce statistics on computer and Internet access. Mandated by the 2008 Broadband Data Improvement Act, the data will help the Federal Communications Commission measure broadband access nationwide. The data will also help identify communities eligible for available grants to expand access.
Some findings: 83.8% of the nation’s households have a computer (either desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone). 74.4% have some form of Internet access at home. The Census Bureau is releasing a more detailed report on the new findings in early October.
A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) shows that one in four U.S. residents now live in poverty areas — up from fewer than one in five in 2000.
A “poverty area” is defined as any census tract with a poverty rate of 20% or more.
The number of people living in poverty areas increased from 49.5 million (18.0%) in 2000 to 77.4 million (25.7%) in 2008-2012. The overall U.S. poverty rate was 14.9% for the same period.
By state, the percentage of people living in a poverty area ranged from 6.8% in New Hampshire to 48.5% in Mississippi. Several states saw declines over the period: District of Columbia (-6.7%), Louisiana (-3.6%), West Virginia (-2.3%), Alaska (-0.4%), Hawaii (-1.0%), and Alaska (-0.4%). On the other hand, North Carolina (17.9%), Oregon (16.0%), Tennessee (16.0%), Arkansas (15.7%), and Georgia (14.6%) had the largest increases in the proportion of people living in poverty areas.
More than half of people living in poverty lived in a poverty area, and about 30% of people living in poverty areas had incomes below the poverty level.
The report, Changes in Areas with Concentrated Poverty: 2000 to 2010, uses data from the 2000 Census and the 2008-2012 ACS five-year estimates to analyze changes in the spatial distribution and socioeconomic characteristics of people living in poverty areas.
According to the report’s author, Alemayehu Bishaw of the Census Bureau’s Poverty Statistics Branch: “Researchers have found that living in poor neighborhoods adds burdens to low-income families, such as poor housing conditions and fewer job opportunities. Many federal and local government agencies use the Census Bureau’s definition of poverty areas to provide much-needed resources to communities with a large concentration of people in poverty.”
Other highlights of the report: