Southeastern Michigan has a median household income of about $57,000, $4,000 above the national average (about $53,000), but there are multiple communities in the region with median household incomes far below the local average. Communities within the region with the lowest median household incomes included Highland Park, Detroit and Hamtramck.
In 2014 Highland Park had the lowest household median income in the region at $19,391; this is a decrease from a median household income of $21,469 in 2009. This neighbor to the City of Detroit also had 49 percent of residents living below the Federal Poverty Level ($23,850 for a family of four) in 2014. Similar to the decreased median household income for Highland Park in recent years, there has been an increase percentage of residents living below the Federal Poverty Level.
In 2014 Hamtramck had roughly the same percentage of residents as Highland Park living below the Federal Poverty Level at 49 percent, this too being an increase from 2009. It also had one of the lowest median household incomes in the region in 2014 at $25,183. The city’s 2014 median household income is about a $5,000 decrease from $30,346 in 2009. Detroit, which will be discussed further later, had a household median income above both of these cities in 2014 at $26,095. However, this median household income is still far below the average for the region, state and nation.
In 2014 the median household income for Lake Angelus was $167,083. Between Highland Park, which had the lowest median household income in the region in 2014, and Lake Angelus, which had the highest median household income, there was more than a $130,000 difference; according to our previous post, in 2009 Lake Angelus’ median household income was about $131,000. Bloomfield Township, also located in Oakland County, was another suburban community that experienced an increase in its median household income between 2009 and 2014. In 2014 Bloomfield Township’s median household income was $108,235, in 2009 it was $104,988. Other communities in the region that had a median household income above $120,000 in 2014 were Novi Township ($125,000), Bloomfield Hills ($163,462) and Orchard Lake Village ($152,625).
Despite such high median household incomes it wasn’t Oakland County with the highest median household income of the seven counties in the region, rather it was Livingston County. In 2014, Livingston County had a median household income of $73,994; Oakland County’s median household income was $66,436. Conversely, Wayne County had the lowest median household income $41,421.
Although Livingston County did not have any communities with a median household income above $120,000, 10 of 18 communities (data was not available for Fenton) had median household incomes above $70,000. Brighton Township had the highest median household income in Livingston County at $94,611 and the Howell had the lowest at $43,482. In Oakland County median household incomes ranged, by community, from $27,632 (Pontiac) to $167,083.
Detroit’s median household income in 2014 was $26,905, a decrease from $33,754 in 2009. With incomes decreasing, the percentage of individuals living below the poverty line increased from 33.2 percent in 2009 to 39.4 percent in 2014 in Detroit.
Despite there being a median income of $26,905 in Detroit there are neighborhoods in the city where the median household income ranges up to about $103,000. The neighborhoods with the highest median household incomes in Detroit are Palmer Park, Rosedale Park and Indian Village. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are several Census Tracts where the median household income in 2014 ranged between $8,733 and $15,000. The majority of these Census Tracts were located in the eastern part of the city, around lower/middle Woodward and Rosa Parks. There were also a few near Brightmoor and Chandler Park.
Overall, we see that while regionally Southeastern Michigan had a median household income above the state and national average in 2014 there are several impoverished communities in the region where the median income not only continues to decline, but the poverty rate continues to rise. Although there are pockets of wealth and poverty both located within the region, the majority of the region has a median household income between $30,000 and $90,000.