Wisconsin income, poverty measures move in right direction

Despite rising incomes, 1 in 5 Milwaukee County residents still live in poverty

Economic indicators

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:07 am

Wisconsin’s poverty rate declined in 2015 and median household incomes were up 5.7 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, matching a national trend.

Economic indicators

Data released earlier this week showed a 5.2 percent jump in household incomes and a 1.2 percentage point drop in the poverty rate.

Southeastern Wisconsin largely matched the national and state trends with income increases in all eight counties, although two saw poverty rates inch up.

Walworth County led the area with a 12 percent increase in median household income to $58,537. Ozaukee County saw a 9.6 percent increase to $79,048 and Milwaukee County was up 7.2 percent to $45,859. Other counties included Kenosha (up 5.8 percent to $55,845), Racine (5, $57,232), Sheboygan (5.6, $57,047), Washington (1.9, $69,713) and Waukesha (2.3, $37,495).

Median incomes in the city of Milwaukee improved to $37,495, a 7 percent increase from 2014. The city of Racine was up 5.2 percent to $42,472 and the city of Waukesha increased by 6.2 percent to $60,734.

Wisconsin as a state had median income of $55,638 and the poverty rate fell by 1.1 percentage points to 12.1 percent.

The decrease moved Wisconsin from 19th to 15th in terms of least amount of poverty. The four position jump was only bettered by Minnesota, up five spots to number three with a rate of 10.2 percent and Vermont, which jumped 11 spots to number four, also at 10.2 percent.

Milwaukee County saw its poverty rate drop 1.7 percentage points to 20.2 percent. Kenosha County saw the strongest improvement, down 3.9 points to 12.8 percent. Walworth County dropped 2 points to 12.7 percent and Waukesha was down 1.4 points to 4.4 percent. Racine and Washington counties had decreases of less than 1 percentage point and were at 11.9 and 4.5 percent respectively.

The poverty rate increased in Ozaukee County to 5.5 percent, a 1.2 percentage point increase. Sheboygan County was also up slightly to 8.9 percent.

Read more economic data reports on the BizTracker page.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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