Median household income climbed for the ninth consecutive year in the United States in 2019, hitting an all time high of $65,712. Rising incomes were the story in much of the country, as 40 states reported a statistically significant increase in median income between 2018 and 2019, and none reported a decline.
Still, some parts of the country did not benefit from rising incomes. Though few in number, there are a handful of cities where the income that the typical household earned in 2019 was thousands of dollars lower than the previous year.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the cities where incomes have declined the most. We included all 121 cities, villages, and unincorporated places that reported a statistically significant change in median household income in our analysis. The places on this list are the only ones to report a decline in income. Supplemental data on unemployment and poverty also came from the ACS.
Median incomes declined in the cities on this list likely due in part to rising unemployment. In each of the seven cities where incomes fell in 2019, the annual unemployment rate climbed over the same period. Of course, the 2019 unemployment rate does not account for the current labor crisis driven by the COVID-19 recession. As a result, many residents of these cities are likely struggling financially even more in 2020. Here is a look at the cities with the worst COVID-19 unemployment crisis right now.
Despite breaking from the national trend and reporting lower incomes in 2019, the cities on this list are not necessarily poor areas. In fact, the typical household in five of these seven cities still has a higher income than the typical U.S. household.