Thursday, April 28, 2005

Fairfield County Still #1 in Per Capita Income

County is Home to some of the Nation's Poorest Cities

Fairfield County just keeps getting richer, although I doubt anyone in Bridgeport has noticed.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released a table showing per capita personal income for metropolitian statistical areas. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk CT is first, with an average personal income of $60,803, far beyond that of #2 San Fransisco-Oakland-Fremont ($46,958) and nearly double the national average of $31,472.

In fact, all four major MSAs in Connecticut ranked among the top 40 in per capita income (Excel table).

Yet Connecticut's cities have some of the worst poverty in the nation, the government is deeply in debt, and our muncipalities can barely afford gas for school buses.

The numbers are, unsurprinsingly, misleading. The cost of living is higher here than in other parts of the country, which makes that figure less impressive, and a few individuals skew the number much higher than is really representative of the population. If one were to, say, saw Greenwich off the end of the state, average income in both Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut would drop sharply.

The point here is that statistics like these can paint a too-rosy picture of life here, and that we shouldn't forget reality in favor of reassuring numbers.

1 comment:

Conn-Tiki said...

When I lived in New York, people (well, ok, lower-income people) used to think of Connecticut as this land of milk and honey, where everyone had a horse and a farm and white people ran riot. They also thought New Haven was the end of the state.

That Greenwich buffer zone really does some good at keeping our dirty little secrets, huh?