Profile: Wage & Income Trends

The average salary in the Rural Capital Area (RCA) is $53,000/year, about 90% of the U.S. average.  From 2009-2019 the RCA average salary grew 39%, versus 30% for the U.S.

Chart of Average Salary by Industry 2019

Salaries in the Rural Capital Area are below U.S. levels in all industries except Manufacturing and Trade, Transportation and Utilities. Salaries in five sectors grew faster than the national rate from 2009-2019:

Other sectors experienced double-digit salary growth, but grew slightly slower than the US:

Per capita income in the Rural Capital Area has remained below the U.S. average for the past 10 years, reaching 87% of U.S. per Capita income in 2019. As with salary levels, per capita income saw regional declines in 2001 and 2002, but otherwise roughly matched U.S. growth trends between 2009 and 2019, including a decline of 4% in 2009.

Chart of Per Capita Income 2019

However, the median household income in the Rural Capital Area is higher than U.S. level, reflecting the prevalence of families (and lots of children).  The RCA median household income reached $81,000 in 2019, reaching 123% of U.S. Median Household Income. The RCA median household income declined by 2.3% in 2009 and 1.5% in 2010, but has grown each year since.

Chart of Median Household Income 2019

The Rural Capital Area has much lower poverty levels than the U.S. as a whole. Between 2008 and 2018, poverty levels increased slightly in the RCA through 2012, reaching 11.4% from 9.4% in 2007.  Since then, the RCA poverty rate fall to a 15-year low of 8.5% in 2017, the rate increased slightly to 9.3% in 2018 but has fallen again to 8.3% in 2019.

The regional percentage of children in poverty followed a similar pattern, rising from 12% in 2007 to 15.2% in 2012 and then slowly falling to 10.8% in 2017, rising slightly to 11.3% in 2018 and falling to 10.3% in 2019.  The Rural Capital Area has far fewer children in poverty than the US, which has 16.8% of all children in poverty as of 2019.

Chart of Percent in Poverty 2019