Hello again everybody! Welcome to another edition of Fun Facts to Know & Tell. We have some new data from the Census Bureau and other sources we’d like to share with you. As always, all data used herein, unless otherwise indicated, originates from US Government sources and is available through the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) website– https://fred.stlouisfed.org/.
There’s been a fair amount of discussion nationally in recent months about the concept of income inequality. We thought we’d take a look at what that means in practical terms here in our community.
Differentiation in household income levels is usually described in the context of something called “quintiles”, which is a high-dollar term for “dividing things up into groups of five”.
What we find is that the lowest earning 20% of households in our county have an average income of $13,010 whereas the highest earning 20% have an average income of $179,830. The average income of the highest earning 20% of households is 13.82 times higher than the average income of the lowest earning 20%. The 13.82 multiplier is used to compare income inequality in our community with other areas.
QUICK QUIZ: Does Anderson County have a higher measure of income inequality than South Carolina as a whole? How about the United States?
|Average HH Income by Quintile|
|Anderson County||South Carolina||United States|
|Income Inequality Ratio||13.82||16.24||16.43|
As it would be, Anderson County’s income inequality ratio is strikingly less than that of the state or the nation, which means that in this regard we are a much more egalitarian community than one would typically find.
Just so you know- the average annual income of those Anderson County households in the “Top 5% of Earners” category is $317,862. In South Carolina, that average is $351,194 and in the US the average is $427,583.
We’ve discussed cost-burdened households in previous editions of FFTK&T—these are households that spend 30% or more of income on housing-related expenses. We are glad to see that the percentage of such households in our community continues to decline, but cannot discount the fact that more than 22% of county households are still cost-burdened.
Homeownership rates in Anderson County increased significantly in 2020, and for two consecutive years now, homeownership rates in our community have increased by more than one percent. We attribute this to increased availability of housing stock as well as a desire by families to make Anderson their home.
We’re often asked to include monthly housing sales data as part of FFTK&T. Here’s how things looked over the most recent twelve-month period:
As of March, the average home listing price had dropped from a high of $409K in June 2020 to a little under $335.8K. With that being said, the median home listing price of $277.5K is almost $40,000 higher than it was back in April 2020. Taken together, these trends suggest that the housing market is reaching an equilibrium of somewhere in mid-to-high $200K range , and there may be an unmet need for houses in the $200K range.
The March data also shows that the median listing price per square foot for residential real estate has been increasing monthly.
|Month||Median Listing Price Per Square Foot|
Wages continue to increase. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly wage as of Q3 2021 was $885—an increase of 5.7% from Q3 2020 ($837). This increase may be attributable in part to increased levels of educational attainment.
QUICK QUIZ: What percentage of Anderson County adults (aged 25 years and over) have an Associate’s Degree or higher?
- 14.6% B) 9.2% C) 35.8% D) 44.4%
If you answered “C”, you win! Efforts geared towards linking workers with educational opportunities which will prepare them for better paying jobs appear to be succeeding. Since 2010, the percentage of persons aged 25 years and up with an Associate’s Degree or higher has increased by one-third.
As of 2020 there were 88,997 workers 16 years of age who were residents of Anderson County. Of those:
- 3.9% (about 3,500) worked from home
- 65.9% work in Anderson County
- 32.1% work in another South Carolina county
- 2.0% work in another state
- 13.9% leave home for work between 7:00 AM and 7:29 AM
- 13.2% leave home for work between 7:30 AM and 8:59 AM
QUICK QUIZ: Have commute times for Anderson residents increased or decreased over the last decade?
If you said the daily commute is getting shorter, you lose! The daily to-work commute time increased by about 10% over the decade.
Since 2010, the average travel time to work for Andersonians has increased from 22.65 minutes to 24.94 minutes, or more than 2.3 minutes per day.
~~~SUNDRIES & NOTIONS~~~
Another statistic we’ve examined in previous editions has to do with what are called “Disconnected Youth”. This statistical measure represents the percentage of young people who are between the ages of 16 and 19, not enrolled in school, and are unemployed or not in the labor force. For several years this percentage had been declining, which is what we want to see. However…
The sharp increase in percentage of disconnected youth is surely attributable at least in part to the effects of the pandemic; however, this statistic needs to be monitored closely. Typically, the longer one is “disconnected” the more difficult it is to re-engage with one’s education or gainful employment.
And to end on a positive note, the percentage of persons in poverty in our community declined by a full percentage point from 2019 to 2020.