New Data Shows Income Growth in LA County

New Census figures came out today from the American Community Survey for 2016. It takes the government time to produce these figures, but it is worth noting how well LA County –and to a larger extent California as a whole — performed.

  • Household income in LA County grew by 3.7% in 2016, compared to an average rate of 3.1% in the previous 4 years, and finally topped $60k (more of a symbolic reference point).
  • Mean household income grew by 4.1% in 2016. The mean is skewed by the higher-income households so it’s usually a neglected statistic, but it is important for businesses because it suggests the growth in LA County’s buying-power.
  • Per capita income growth was a bit higher at 4.8% in 2016.

Note that these are all nominal figures, but inflation has been consistently low throughout this period. 

US California LA County
Median Household Income 57,600 67,700 61,300
2015-16 change 3.3% 5.0% 3.7%
2011-15 avg. change 2.5% 3.0% 3.1%
Mean Household Income 81,300 97,000 89,700
2015-16 change 3.8% 5.7% 4.1%
2011-15 avg. change 2.9% 3.2% 2.7%
Per Capita Income 31,100 33,400 30,800
2015-16 change 3.8% 5.7% 4.8%
2011-15 avg. change 2.9% 3.2% 2.8%

Note that income figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

Also noteworthy from the data:

  • The number of LA County households with incomes over $100k grew by 5.6% in 2016.  LAEDC economists feel that is solid performance for the L.A. economy, although California and the U.S. as a whole performed slightly better (6.9%/6.2%).
  • Low income (under $35k) and middle income ($35k to $100k) households in LA County both declined by 1.7%.  This suggests that households are moving up.

More analysis to come from LAEDC…

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