What does this measure?
Median household income, in 2021 dollars. Half of incomes are below the median and half are above.
Why is this important?
Median household income is a gauge of the overall economic health of the region and the financial resources of households.
How is our county doing?
In 2017-21, the median household income in Essex County was $86,700, a 8% increase from $80,000 in 2012-16 and a 3% increase from 2000 (after inflation). The state had a higher median household income at $89,000 and the nation was substantially lower, at $69,000. Essex County's 3% increase in median household income since 2000 compares with an increase of 8% at the state level and a 1% at the national level.
Within Essex County, Manchester had the highest median income, at $193,300, followed by Boxford, at $187,800. Lawrence had the lowest median income by far, at $47,500, followed by Lynn at $63,900. Manchester had the largest percentage increase in Essex County since 2000, rising 62%, from $119,500 to $193,300.
How do we compare to similar counties?
Essex County had the lowest median household income among the comparison counties, as Lake, IL was at $97,100, Westchester, NY was at $105,400, and Middlesex, MA was at $111,800 in 2017-21. The 3% increase in Essex County's median income since 2000 was smaller than the 13% in Middlesex and the 2% increase in Westchester. Lake County, IL experienced an 11% decrease in median income.
Notes about the data
Figures are in constant 2021 dollars. The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with 3 asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.