Local News

N.C. household income down, poverty up, census shows

Posted September 29, 2009 11:55 a.m. EDT
Updated September 29, 2009 12:57 p.m. EDT

— Newly released census figures show the median household income in North Carolina declined more than $3,500 over the past eight years and the percentage of households below the poverty line increased 2.3 percent.

The Office of Management and Budget defines the poverty threshold based on the Consumer Price Index. In 2008, the weighted average poverty threshold for a family of four was $22,025; for a family of three, $17,163; for a family of two, $14,051; and for unrelated individuals, $10,991. More than 12 percent of North Carolina residents are living in poverty, the figures show.

The U.S. Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey includes social, housing demographic and select economic data collected throughout 2008 for areas with populations of 65,000 or more.

The median household income statewide in 2008 was $46,549, down from $50,155 in 2000. Both figures are in 2008 dollars.

Wake County had the highest median income of $65,180, followed by Union County with $62,087. Wilkes County had the lowest – $29,705, followed by Robeson at $30,932.

Figures for other counties in central North Carolina and elsewhere are as follows:

  • Cleveland County – $36,748
  • Cumberland County – $44,786
  • Durham County – $51,028
  • Forsyth County – $46,912
  • Guilford County – $47,553
  • Harnett County – $43,547
  • Johnston County – $52,484
  • Mecklenburg County – $57,033
  • Moore County – $46,697
  • Nash County – $45,482
  • Orange County – $54,390
  • Pitt County – $40,025
  • Robeson County – $30,932
  • Rockingham County – $37,678
  • Wayne County – $39,388
  • Wilson County – $38,004

Data released also show about 5 percent of the population in Wake County receiving food stamps – the lowest rate in the state.

Robeson County had one of the highest, with 19 percent of the population receiving food stamps. Wilson County had the second highest with 17 percent, and Cleveland County in western North Carolina had 15 percent.

Figures for other counties in central North Carolina and elsewhere are as follows:

  • Cumberland County – 12 percent
  • Durham County – 9 percent
  • Forsyth County – 9 percent
  • Guilford County – 8 percent
  • Harnett County – 10 percent
  • Johnston County – 9 percent
  • Mecklenburg County – 7 percent
  • Moore County – 6 percent
  • Nash County – 13 percent
  • Orange County – 6 percent
  • Pitt County – 11 percent
  • Rockingham County – 13 percent
  • Wayne County – 12 percent
  • Wilson County – 17 percent

Other central North Carolina counties, including Chatham, Franklin, Edgecombe, Greene and Hoke counties were not included in the data.