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Median household incomes in Michigan are shrinking

Michigan's median household income dropped over the past decade.
Photo by penywise
Michigan's median household income dropped over the past decade.

The median income for Michigan households has dropped by more than $9,000 over the past decade. Only one other state, Hawaii, has seen a bigger loss in income.

Michigan’s median household income in 2009 was $45,255, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. When adjusted for inflation, the median income in 2000 was $54,651, according to the Bureau's Supplemental Survey.

Lou Glazer is president of the think tank Michigan Future, Inc. He says the drop in income is a direct result of Michigan’s slow changeover from a factory-based economy to one that emphasizes higher education:

"Because we’re not making that transition, we have declining income, and a declining middle class. And to be honest with you, unless we deal with that, and switch to a more knowledge-economy, we don’t have a lot of room to go up."

Michigan is 36th in the country in terms of college attainment.

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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