Nine Booming US Cities

income, America, CitiesThe recession across the United States is slowly moving away, and income is clawing back after a deep slide in recent years. The numbers tell the story: median household income during the period of 2010-2012 was $51,771 per year compared to $54,951 per year between 2007 and 2009. The statistics reveal a clear decline of 5.8 percent.

Though the economy of the country is recovering, it is not equal in all the regions. A few cities have survived the financial doldrums a little better compared to others. Top recovering cities exhibited a median income raise of more than 15 percent.  An average New Bern, New Connecticut resident, saw a rise of  25.3 percent in income during the 2010-2012 period ,compared to the 2007-2009 period.

Top performing cities

The cities which exhibited the maximum median growth are:

1. New Bern, New Connecticut
2. Nacogdoches, Texas
3. West Lafayette, Indiana
4. Bridgeton, New Jersey
5. Del Rio, Texas
6. Bentonville, Arkansas
7. Stillwater, Oklahoma
8. Manhattan, Kansas
9. Big Spring, Texas

It is superfluous to say that poverty rates in these cities declined with a rise in median household income. Two cities: Manhattan and West Lafayette enjoyed a poverty decline of six percentage points.

Factors considered

All the cities mentioned above have a population of 25,000 or more. Three-year averages have been used for calculating the growth. Other than income, home values, employment by industry and poverty rates were collected.

Starting from a low base

According to Austin Nichols, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute, the factor that assisted the growth of median incomes in these cities was the opening low  base income. A $1,000 change in income in some places would  almost be negligible but would make a huge difference in some other places. Unsurprisingly, the cities with biggest gains in income were in the bottom quartile when it came to national income in the 2007 to 2009 period.

Industry that gets less affected by recession

According to Nichols, the education industry is least likely to suffer from recession. Universities usually provide a better and stable employment compared to other sectors. Educational and public administration institutions are generally protected from recessionary economic vagaries. Manhattan,  Stillwater, and West Lafayette all have big public universities. The existence of colleges in a number of cities may have played a part in lowering the median incomes, as few students opt for full-time employment while studying in school/colleges.

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