Posted by: Josh Lehner | September 13, 2018

Urban Oregon Household Income, 2017 Update

This morning the Census Bureau released the 2017 American Community Survey data. There is a ton to unpack here and even more once the microdata is released later this year. In the coming months our office will update and share some of this work.

As discussed earlier, Oregon incomes continued to rise and the poverty rate ticked down. This post is a quick update on trends we are seeing across Oregon’s metro areas. For rural income trends, we need to wait until December when the 5 year ACS estimates are released.

First, let’s start with the Rogue Valley where household incomes have seemingly lagged underlying economic growth in recent years. The latest figures show solid gains in both Medford (Jackson County) and Grants Pass (Josephine County). The data is a bit noisy so I usually use a two year average to help smooth it and get the underlying trends. This is especially useful for a smaller area, and thus smaller sample size, like Grants Pass. As you can see in the dotted line (annual numbers) the region has seen two strong gains in the past three years, but also a year of large losses. Expectations are that moving forward, there will be more sustained momentum in the Josephine numbers and incomes will continue to increase. That said, some year to year volatility is to be expected. Medford

Traveling north on I-5 a bit, incomes throughout the Willamette Valley continue to show good growth in the latest data. Salem and Corvallis incomes are now at historic highs, while Albany and Eugene incomes are essentially back to where they were at the start of the Great Recession.

Further north, the Portland region continues to see strong gains. Like the state overall, 2017 increases were a bit slower, but continue to outpace most other large metros across the country. The Portland MSA’s median household income now ranks 16th highest among the nation’s 100 largest metros. In 2007, Portland ranked 32nd highest. As noted in the statewide trends, the leveling out of the poverty rate was also seen in the Portland region. Similarly, the poverty rate differences between racial and ethinic groups was evident in Portland as well. As such, it is reasonable to conclude that outside the Portland area, Oregon’s poverty rates continued to decline.

Finally, let’s cross the mountains and check in on Bend where we know growth has been and continues to be robust. Household income in Deschutes County saw another strong year in 2017 and compared with the other housing bust metros across the country, Bend continues to outperform. Among these 50 metros, Bend’s income growth since the onset of the recession ranks 5th best. Medford, which is also among the worst housing bust metros nationwide, ranks 15th best.


Responses

  1. […] Source: Urban Oregon Household Income, 2017 Update | Oregon Office of Economic Analysis […]


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