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Median Household Income Overall

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Median Household Income Overall

Key Facts Median Household Income Overall

Northern Virginia is known for having communities with some of the highest median incomes in the United States, including the county with the highest in the nation.  High median household incomes coincide with the large, thriving business community of the Northern Virginia region. While the median household income is high, we must recognize that there are segments of the community in need of assistance that live in this prosperous region of the country and that high housing costs offset the high income when it comes to standards of living and well-being.

Note: The 2020 ACS one-year estimates will not be released due to the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic on data collection and a lower response rate.  The ACS collected only two-thirds of the responses it typically collects in a survey year.  It did not meet the Census Bureau’s data quality standards.  Therefore, 2019 ACS one-year estimates are the latest shown on this dashboard for one-year estimates.

Median Household Income - Current
2016 to 2020 Five-Year Estimates

All jurisdictions in the United States are included in the five-year American Community Survey estimates. The Median household income of all jurisdictions in Northern Virginia is shown in this graph.  The median household income of every Northern Virginia jurisdictions is higher than the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States.  Out of all 3,143 jurisdictions in the USA, four of the ten highest ranked for median household income are located in Northern Virginia, and those include Loudoun County (1st), Falls Church City (2nd), Fairfax County (5th), Arlington County (7th).

Median Household Income - Current
2019 One-Year Estimates

Those jurisdictions with a population of 65,000 or more are included in the one-year American Community Survey estimates. The median household income of jurisdictions in Northern Virginia with a population of 65,000 or more is shown in this graph. The five largest jurisdictions of Northern Virginia all have incomes higher than the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States. Out of the 829 jurisdictions with a population of 65,000 or more in the USA, three of the ten highest incomes are located in Northern Virginia, and those include Loudoun County (1st), Fairfax County (4th), and Arlington County (8th).

Median Household Income - Historic Compared to Current
Five-Year Estimates

The greatest upward transformations in median household income, to levels well beyond inflation, have occurred in the Counties of Arlington and  Loudoun and the Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church.  One jurisdiction in the region, the City of Manassas Park, has seen its median household income not keep pace with inflation.  All other regional jurisdictions have seen their median household incomes stabilize or remain steady over time when accounting for inflation.

 

Note, the American Community Survey is a survey with a small sample size.  Areas with smaller populations, such as the cities of Northern Virginia, may have a larger margin of error in the data due to the survey sample size being small.  This is less of an issue the larger the population.  The margin of error is shown in the popup that is displayed when hovering over a bar in the bar charts.  In addition to the margin of error, the accuracy of the American Community Survey data for an area can be gaged by evaluating the trend.  If there is a large increase or decrease in the estimate from one time period to the next, and the margin of error is large and overlaps other periods, then the large change between time periods is likely due to statistical sampling error and the data should be used with caution.  

Median Household Income - Historic Compared to Current
One-Year Estimates

The median household income trend, for the regions large jurisdictions (population of 65,000 or more), are shown in the following graph.

 

Key Facts:

 

  • There were dips in median household income in the early 2010s for some jurisdictions.  In 2010 was the ending of a recession and in 2013 was federal sequestration when the federal government made large budget cuts.  Our region is heavily dependent on the federal government for its economy, so job layoffs during sequestration likely impacted household incomes, in addition to the recession.

  • Alexandria had a significant rise in its median household income in 2017 beyond inflation and it has remained at a similar level in 2018 and 2019 when accounting for inflation.

  • Arlington County has been trending upward.  The dip in 2019 may be attributable to year-to-year fluctuations from the survey's small sample size, but that will be clearer when the data for upcoming years is released.

  • Loudoun County had a significant rise in its median household income in 2019 beyond inflation.

  • Prince William County is at a fairly similar level today as it was back in 2010.

  • Fairfax County has trended slightly upward over time.