NC Median household income growth tops in U.S. since 2013

Published September 16, 2016

by Brian Balfour, Civitas Institute, September 14, 2016.

A week ago, I wrote about some positive economic news pointing toward NC’s economy being on a “hot streak.”

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released household income data that sheds even more positive light on NC’s economy. An analysis provided via email from Brent Lane, Director of the UNC Center for Competitive Economies at UNC-Chapel Hill, provides some highlights (this data uses inflation-adjusted figures):

  • Over the past three years (which encompasses NC’s 10 quarters of superior per capita income growth) NC recorded the highest (#1) median household income growth in the US. NC’s median household income grew 18.42% since the beginning of 2013. The US figure grew 7.31% over the same period.
  • In contrast, since reaching its highest comparative level in 1997, between 1997 and 2012 NC’s median household income growth rate of -18.74% was 49th in the US.
  • In the past year US median household income grew 5.21%, while NC’s grew 8.45% (ranked 8th).
  • In 2012 NC’s median household income ranked 46th in the US. In 2015 NC ranked 37th.
  • NC median household income in 2015 is still $6k behind the US. But the gap is closing. In 2012 the gap was $10k.

Now we have significant positive data for both per capita income and median household income, with marked improvements beginning once the 2013 state tax reforms were implemented.