Census Surveys, Data Limitations, and Household Income Change in New York State

On the surface, finding the answer to how household median incomes changed over the decade from 2010 to 2020 is simple. At the national level, data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey is sufficiently robust to allow us to know the incomes of each group for each year and measure change during the period. […]

The Economic Value of College Depends upon Where You Live

College graduates enjoy a substantial income premium over those with a high school degree. In New York State, the median income in 2019 for people aged 25 or older with a Bachelor’s degree was $62,699. The median income for high school graduates was only $33,491. For those with advanced degrees, the median was $81,041. But […]

With a New Governor, New York Faces Economic Challenges

For decades, New York has had substantial disparities in economic performance. Although some parts of the State are doing relatively well, much of it has declining employment, higher levels of poverty, lower household income levels, and fewer adults working than the nation. Over most of the past decade, job growth was limited to Eastern New […]

Poverty in Upstate Metropolitan Areas: Myths and Realities

We live in an era in which long-held attitudes about race have been heightened by political campaigns that attempt to mobilize fears among white voters about minority group members and immigrants.  These appeals have ranged from claims that President Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya and claims that criminal undocumented immigrants endanger […]

Countering the Economic Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic

We have seen alarming estimates of the potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on disease and death, as well as on our economy.  Some have suggested that more than half of our population could be infected – more than 160 million people and that one or two percent of those could die.  The President’s Treasury […]

Education, Economic Status and Student Performance in New York School Districts

Note:  A more recent, closer look at this subject may be found here:  https://policybynumbers.com/a-closer-look-at-student-performance-in-upstate-city-schools In 1966, James S. Coleman and associates wrote the report, “Equality of Educational Opportunity,” for the United States Department of Health Education and Welfare, as required by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The report was commissioned to examine the causes […]

Left Behind: Characteristics of Low Labor Participation Counties

In my last post, I examined labor market participation in New York State counties.  I found that most New Yorkers, both upstate and downstate, live in counties where labor market participation differs only slightly from national levels, but upstate counties with small populations in many cases have labor participation rates that are significantly below the […]

The Income Gap between Men and Women: 2015 vs. 1970

Since 1970,  inflation adjusted wage income growth has been almost nonexistent – only five percent over the 45 year period ending in 2015.  Income change in metropolitan areas in New York State has differed little from the nation.  Rochester and Buffalo were two exceptions – both had lower median real wage incomes in 2015 than in […]