Report says Orleans County peaked in 1969

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 December 2014 at 12:00 am

A report from The Washington Post about the vanishing Middle Class says Orleans County peaked in 1969.

“Why America’s Middle Class is Lost” was published on Dec. 12 by The Washington Post. The story includes a database on the median household income in 3,139 counties across the United States. Orleans is one of 210 counties, or less than 7 percent of the country, that reached its inflation-adjusted peak in 1969.

About half of the counties in New York state hit their median household peak in 1969. That includes seven out of the eight Western New York counties. Wyoming County was the only one to hit its peak after 1969. Wyoming hit it in 1999 with a median household income of $55,668.

Orleans households had an inflation-adjusted median income of $56,963 in 1969, according to the database that used information from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

In Orleans, the median household income between 2009 to 2013 was down to $48,502, according to the American Community Survey.

The Washington Post says the median household incomes have fallen in many areas in the country due to the exodus of higher-paying manufacturing jobs and other positions.

“Make no mistake: The American middle class is in trouble,” according to Post article written by Jim Tankersley. “That trouble started decades ago, well before the 2008 financial crisis, and it is rooted in shifts far more complicated than the simple tax-and-spend debates that dominate economic policymaking in Washington.”

Tankersley says a smaller share of Americans are reaping the benefits of an expanding economy.

To see the article and the database of counties, click here.