Indicator of the Month: Median Household Income
Median household income divides the income of all households in a community into two equal parts and identifies the midpoint above which and below which there are equal numbers of households. Household income is the total income of all individuals 15 years and older living together in a household, whether they are related or not. Juneau’s median household income, averaged for the years 2007-2011, is $77,558, which is significantly higher than Alaska and the United States. Juneau is considerably better off than the United States, as the median household income here is 50% more than the median national household income. This could be a reflection of both higher wages paid in order to compensate for the higher cost of living associated with residing in Alaska and a higher proportion of dual income households. Alaska as a whole is also considerably better off than the United States, with a median 32% higher than the U.S. median. According to cost of living surveys such as the C2ER Cost of Living Index that measures living expenses in 306 urban communities across the nation, relative price levels for Juneau are approximately 30% higher than the average of all participating areas. Consequently, Juneau’s higher household income more than compensates for a higher cost of living for much of our community.