Sep 19, 2023 - News

Nashville median salaries are dropping as cost of living rises

Change in median household income, 2019 to 2022
Data: U.S. Census; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The median household income across the Nashville metro area has fallen since the onset of the pandemic, per new Census Bureau data.

Why it matters: This decline in household income happened at the same time the cost of living rose with inflation.

What's happening: Nashville's median income fell 1.5% between 2019 and 2022 from $81,221 to $80,034, using figures adjusted for inflation.

  • Statewide, the median income rose ever-so-slightly, from about $64,820 to $65,250.

By the numbers: At the same time that Nashville's overall wages dipped, the share of households making more than $100,000 increased from 33% to 39%.

Change in the share of Nashville metro area households, by income
Data: U.S. Census; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The big picture: Nationally, median household income fell 1.6% between 2019 and 2022, adjusted for inflation.

  • Incomes adjusted for inflation fell in 2022 from the previous year, new Census data shows. That trend "explains why Americans have felt so 'meh' about the strong economy over the past couple years," Axios Markets' Emily Peck writes.

The intrigue: The COVID-19 pandemic "changed the geography of where money is made in the United States," Axios Macro's Neil Irwin reports, as many higher-income Americans decamped from cities like New York and San Francisco to "rural and exurban places and popular vacation destinations."

Of note: Because the latest American Community Survey release is based on 2022 data, it's capturing what some call the "late pandemic era," when many elements of normality returned while the pandemic still loomed in the background, affecting many aspects of life.

Go deeper: Where America stands


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