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The economic recovery from the recession has sent stock prices and D.C. housing costs upward, but it hasn’t resulted in higher incomes for District residents.
According to 2013 American Community Survey data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in the D.C. area was $90,149 last year, a small but statistically insignificant decline from the 2010 median of $90,316, adjusted for inflation. Meanwhile, the percentage of residents living in poverty edged up slightly, although again by a statistically insignificant margin, from 8.4 percent to 8.5 percent. And the percentage of residents receiving food stamps, or SNAP benefits, increased from 5.9 percent to 7.9 percent.
In the District proper, the median household income in 2013 was $67,572 and the number of people under the poverty line was 115,551 people, both slightly but insignificantly higher than the 2010 levels. In other words, the economic recovery hasn’t brought tangible benefits to many D.C. households, and in fact may have worsened many residents’ situations as housing costs have risen and are now the highest in the country.
Still, the D.C. region has the highest median household income of any metropolitan area in the country, besting second-place San Francisco by more than $10,000 a year. Likewise, the poverty rate is the lowest in the country.
Beyond the flat incomes and failure to cut the poverty rate, there’s another unsettling figure in the Census Bureau’s release: Men in the D.C. area working full time earned a median of $67,216, compared to just $56,168 for women.
Charts from the Census Bureau