Sep 18, 2023 - News

Richmond households saw an income boost during the pandemic

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

Richmonders fared better than the state as a whole when it came to pandemic-era income gains.

Driving the news: The median household income across the Richmond metro area rose 3% between 2019 and 2022, per new Census Bureau data.

  • Richmond-area median income was $81,388 in 2022, compared with $78,981 in 2019, adjusted for inflation.
  • The median income in Virginia, meanwhile, dropped 2.84%, from $88,382 to $85,873.

The new data comes by way of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2022 American Community Survey (ACS) one-year estimates, released Thursday.

  • Why it matters: The ACS is one of the best resources available for a regularly published quantified look at myriad facets of American life, down to a remarkably local level.
Change in the share of Richmond metro area households, by income
Data: U.S. Census; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

By the numbers: The share of Richmond area residents making between $50,000 and $75,000 annually decreased from 18% to 16% between 2019 and 2022, while the share making over $100,000 increased from 34% to 41%.

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

  • That trend "explains why Americans have felt so meh about the strong economy over the past couple years," Axios Markets' Emily Peck writes based on similar data released earlier this week.

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."


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