Washington DC Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines
Posted on 21-Sep-2013
Topics: Public Trust  Wealth and Power
From The Wall Street Journal:
American incomes have tumbled over the last decade. But for many people in Washington, D.C., it’s been something of a party.
The income of the typical D.C. household rose 23.3% between 2000 and 2012 to an inflation-adjusted $66,583, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, its most comprehensive snapshot of America’s demographic, social and economic trends. During this period, median household incomes for the nation as a whole dropped 6.6% — from $55,030 to $51,371. The state of Mississippi, which had one of the biggest declines, dropped 15% to $37,095: Nearly one in three people there have an income that is near the poverty line.
The Washington, D.C. metro area — which includes the surrounding suburbs in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia — has it even better, with a median household income of $88,233 that ranks highest among the U.S.’s 25 most populous metro areas. Tampa, Florida’s median income, by contrast, is under $45,000.
But D.C. — which wasn’t hit as hard as other major U.S. cities by the 2007-2009 recession — is a different story. Its local economy is expanding faster than the broader nation, and its property market is soaring, thanks in part to increased federal-government spending and an influx of federal contractors, lawyers and consultants.
There is, however, a dark side to D.C.’s relative prosperity.
The share of people in D.C. experiencing what’s called “deep poverty” — incomes that are 50% below the poverty line — actually rose between 2000 and 2012 from 9.4% to 10.4%. Forty-five U.S. states saw this rate rise over the same time period. But D.C.’s rate is the highest in the country, beating out Mississippi.
 "Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines", Neil Shah, Wall Street Journal Blogs, 19-Sep-2013