Map of the Month

Missouri Educational Attainment and Income

Educational attainment is an established, validated predictor of income. This map-of-the-month series looks at the distribution of both characteristics in Missouri’s counties. Derived from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS) 2012-2016 5-year data, Missouri households are mapped here by level of educational attainment and median household income, while a bivariate choropleth map displays the variable impact of earning less than a high school diploma on household income.

Educational Attainment and Income in Missouri, 2012-2016The bar chart, based on the 2016 ACS 1-year release, establishes the relative distribution of median household income by level of education. While the overall median household in Missouri realizes approximately $36,000 in income, the median household in Missouri headed by someone without a high school diploma or GED is closer to $20,000.  Completing high school results in a bump of roughly  $10,000, with the median household income of high school graduates a little more than $30,000. Completing some college or an associate’s (2-year degree) results in an incremental increase in household median income to the mid-$30,000 range, but it is completion of a bachelor’s degree or greater that accelerates median household income into the mid-$40,000 to mid-$50,000 range annually.

Educational attainment, however, is not the only driver of income. Access to workforce opportunities and proximity to infrastructure impacts potential income too. Review of the Median household income map reveals the influence of infrastructure investment and population density in driving up wages and income, as seen in the counties shaded in the darkest green.  It’s also interesting to visually note the geographically layered gradation of quantiles of the state with the I-70 highway corridor connecting Missouri’s relatively high income metropolitan areas, and the agricultural northern tier of counties falling into the mid-quantiles, while lower income households concentrate in the southern tier of counties (with exception of income concentrating in the Springfield metro area).

Not surprisingly, a close look at the concentrations of level of educational attainment (the blue-scale maps), correlate at the county level to the median household income map fairly predictably: Populations with higher concentrations of higher levels of education also have higher median household incomes.

The bivariate choropleth map, Median household income by percent of adults with less than high school diploma or GED, lets us see the outliers as well as validating the correlations we anticipated. For example, the truer the shade of blue a county is coded, the higher the percent of the adult population without a high school diploma/GED and the higher median household income indicating some combination of higher wage job and income opportunities relative to educational qualifications. We see these on the periphery of the other end of the spectrum, counties with higher median household incomes and the lowest rates of households with low educational attainment, suggesting “bedroom” communities. Further study to confirm this pattern might include looking at patterns of in-migration over time and commuting patterns.

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Census Report

10% of Grandparents Live with a Grandchild

Of the 65 million grandparents in the United States in 2012, nearly seven million (10%) lived with at least one grandchild, according to Coresident Grandparents and Their Grandchildren: 2012, a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

About 4.2 million households (3% of all households) contained both grandchildren under 18 and their grandparents in 2012. More than 60% of these households were maintained by a grandparent and about one in three had no parent present.

In 2012, 2.7 million grandparents in the U.S. were raising their grandchildren. About 39% of these grandparent caregivers have cared for their grandchildren for five years or more.

The new report uses data from the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine historical changes in coresidence of grandparents and characteristics of grandparents and grandchildren who live together.

Other findings:

  • Grandparents who lived with a grandchild in 2012 were younger, had lower levels of education and were more likely to be in poverty than those who did not live with a grandchild.
  • Two percent of grandparents who lived with a grandchild were age 30–39, whereas the highest percentage was for those age 50–59 (34%). Those age 80 and over made up only 4%.
  • Women comprised 64.2% of grandparents who lived with their grandchildren.
  • Forty-nine percent of children in grandparent-maintained households lived with both grandparents compared with only 19% of children in parent-maintained households.
  • Since 2007, about one-third of children who lived with a grandparent also had two parents present.

Census Report

Gap Between Higher- and Lower-Wealth Households Widens

Median net worth increased between 2000 and 2011 for households in the top two quintiles of the net worth distribution — the wealthiest 40% of households — while declining for those in the lower three quintiles, according to statistics released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau. (Each quintile represents 20%, or one fifth, of all households.) The result: A widening wealth gap between those at the top and those in the middle and bottom of the net worth distribution.

where-is-the-wealth

According to the report, Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011, median household net worth decreased by $5,124 for households in the lowest-net-worth quintile and increased by $61,379 (10.8%) for those in the highest quintile. Median net worth of households in the highest quintile was 39.8 times higher than the second lowest quintile in 2000, and it rose to 86.8 times higher in 2011.

The report also details a widening of the wealth gap for households sharing the same demographic characteristics, such as age, race and Hispanic origin, and educational attainment of the householder. For example, the median net worth for non-Hispanic whites in the highest quintile was 21.8 times higher than for those in the second-lowest quintile in 2000; in 2011, this had increased to 31.5 times higher. For blacks, the ratio increased from 139.9 to 328.1, and for Hispanics, the increase was from 158.4 to 220.9.

Between 2000 and 2011, the wealth gap has also widened between groups with different demographic characteristics. For example, the ratio of median net worth of non-Hispanic whites to that of blacks rose from 10.6 to 17.5 between 2000 and 2011, and the ratio of non-Hispanic whites to Hispanics also increased from 8.1 to 14.4.

“However, when looking at the highest quintile for these groups, we see that blacks experienced higher relative increases in median net worth than non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics,” Census Bureau economist Marina Vornovitsky said. For blacks in the highest quintile, median net worth increased by 62.8%, to $229,041; for Hispanics in the highest quintile, it increased by 17.9% to $250,462, and for non-Hispanic whites in the highest quintile, it rose by 11.9% to $754,244.

The Distribution of Household Net Worth and Debt in the U.S. detailed table packages were released for 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011, the years for which data were collected.