Healthy Communities Count!
Average Household Income
A person’s or family’s (household) income affects their ability to pay for the basic needs of daily life; housing, food, clothes, health care, and education. People with low incomes have less access to nutritious food, good housing, and education. Higher incomes allow access to better quality housing materials that reduce the risk of contact with lead, asbestos, mold, rodents, and dust. Looking at household income in a community can help planners find areas that would benefit from better access to jobs, training, and improved job stability.
Income and Health
Like education and employment, income can influence personal and community health. While we usually think of a disease, injury, or chemical as causing a health problem, a person’s or family’s income can indirectly affect their health. Employment, more education, and higher incomes are all closely linked to improved health.
Low income is linked to higher rates of illness and death. Studies show that people with low household income living in communities with varied levels of household income tend to be healthier than people with low income who live in communities where everyone’s income is low. Low income communities tend to have more businesses that sell fast food, alcohol, and cigarettes. Over reliance or abuse of these products can cause serious health problems.
What the Map Shows
The map shows that most of the areas in the Central Corridor have average annual household incomes that are less than $63,500 (Twin Cities average annual income). MDH used information from the 2000 U.S. Census to calculate the average income for a specific area. The average for a specific area was based on the total income from all the households in the specific area divided by the number of households in that area. MDH compared the average income for specific areas (Census block groups) in the Central Corridor with the average for the Twin Cities. Of the 50 specific areas that MDH looked at, only 4 have average household incomes that are higher than the Twin Cities’ average ($63,500). Three of these areas are located near the University of Minnesota; one is near Hamline University. The average household income for the entire Central Corridor Study Area was $41,400. (Click on the map for a larger image.)
The information used for this count comes from the 2000 U.S. Census and is likely to be outdated. However, more recent income data for the Central Corridor that would be directly comparable to the Twin Cities as a whole are not readily available at the census tract level. An updated analysis using data from the 2010 U.S. Census, when it is available, would be more reflective of current conditions.
Printable information sheet, with map: Average Household Income (PDF: 263KB/2 pages)
Click on the map below for a larger image