NC Sees Largest Median Household Income Increase on Record

North Carolina’s median household income increased by nearly $3,500 to $57,341 in 2019, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 6.5% growth is the state’s largest single year-over-year increase on record.

Chart: North Carolina’s Median Household Income (2005 to 2019)

“Household” income includes the income of the householder and the income of anyone at least 15 years of age living in the household, whether they are related to the householder or not. The “median” household income figure is calculated by dividing the total number of households in North Carolina into two parts, with one half falling below the median income and one half coming in above the median. This median, or “middle” value, is a more accurate reflection of typical household income than that of the mean (average), as the mean can be unduly influenced by a very small number of high or low outlying figures.

Since 2011, when the newly-minted conservative state legislature began instituting fiscally responsible policies — including sweeping tax and regulatory reform — median household income (along with a host of other economic indicators) began to improve. The effects became particularly dramatic starting in 2014.

It should be noted that the 2019 data released by the Census Bureau does not reflect the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which crippled the state and national economies beginning in February of this year.

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