Economy & Innovation
5:36 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Mapped: How Do St. Louis' Earnings Stack Up?

Let's admit it - we all wonder what our neighbors are earning. Or, if our assumptions about what we earn are true.

In a geographical "keeping up with the Joneses" our friends at WNYC have put together this handy map of median household incomes across the United States.

You can drill down to cities and zoom in on specific neighborhoods, based on the latest U.S. Census tract data.

When we did that for the St. Louis region, this is what we saw. Click around on the map to explore:

A couple of takeaways:

  • Highest earning tract in the region: $193,547 (+/- $23,921) 
  • Lowest earning tract in the region: $11,726 (+/- $3,856)
  • In no area within the St. Louis city limits is the median household income listed above $75,000. The highest tract is listed at $71,477 (+/- $30,103).

As we talked about on St. Louis on the Air last year, a 2012 report stated that Missouri ranks among the worst states in which the gap between rich and middle-income households has widened over the last 20 years.

The report, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute, says the top 5 percent of Missouri households have an average income 11.7 times that of the bottom fifth.

WNYC discussed the data on The Takeaway with Dante Chinni, director of the American Communities Project at American University. Chinni "discusses some of the most surprising information this Census report revealed, and to help us understand the historical significance of income mapping."

Chinni touches on brain drain from rural America to "metropolitan America," places that are usually unchanging (like Texas County, Mo.), and other trends he's observed.

What's the median household income near you? Are you surprised by what you found? Tweet me @KelseyProud with what you find or send me an email at kproud at stlpublicradio dot org.

Also, if you're curious about other areas in the U.S., here's the full map for you to explore:

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