A recent blog post examined inflation-adjusted mean and median family income in the United States. This graph compares the real (inflation-adjusted) median family income across the four U.S. Census regions—West, Midwest, South, and Northeast. The states for each are as follows:
West: Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii
Midwest: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio
South: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Delaware, Maryland
Northeast: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
You can see from the graph that the South has much lower median family income than the Northeast (roughly $58k vs. $71k). Of course, the cost of living in the South may be lower and, hence, compensate for the difference in median income. In the past, the South had significantly lower income than the other three regions, which bunched together very tightly. Since the 1980s, the real median family income of the regions has separated into three groups: The Northeast is clearly the highest, with the Midwest and West regions occupying the center, and the South remains the lowest.
How this graph was created: Start with a search for median family income. Then use tags to select U.S. Census regions. (Tags are on the left navigation bar: census, census region, real.) This leaves you with the real data series for all four Census regions. Click on the left side of each data series to select it, and then select “Add to Graph.”
Suggested by Katrina Stierholz.