Pittsburgh's median family income rises

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Household incomes rose in Pittsburgh in 2012 while the overall metropolitan area and the rest of the country saw incomes remain flat.

The city saw what the U.S. Census Bureau calls a statistically significant increase in household incomes as the median income rose by $3,281 to $39,884 from 2011 to 2012.

That happened as the median income in the seven-county metropolitan area stayed statistically the same, rising from $49,809 to $50,489. The median income for the metropolitan area was below the average of all U.S. metropolitan areas of $53,607.

The income information was contained in data released this morning as part of the American Community Survey.

The survey also found that the median value for an owner-occupied home in the greater Pittsburgh metropolitan area fell from $191,000 to $188,300 from 2011 to 2012.

The metropolitan area had a poverty rate of 12.1 percent in 2012, which the Census Bureau characterized as not statistically different than 2011, when it was 12.6 percent.

The story could be that as higher paid workers move into hot city neighborhoods such as the North Side, the Strip District, Lawrenceville and the East End, poorer residents are moving to the suburbs. Research by the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., has shown that poverty is moving into suburban areas while urban areas are becoming gentrified.

Mark Price, an economist with the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, said the increased percentage of people in the city who work in management, business, science and art occupations from 43 percent to 47 percent fits with increase of median household income. The number of workers living in Pittsburgh also rose from 139,852 to 150,296, a 7.5 percent increase.

The seven-county metropolitan statistical area -- which is made up of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties -- experienced a 2.4 percent increase in its labor force to nearly 1.14 million workers from 2011 to 2012. The composition of the overall labor force in terms of the occupational mix remained stable from 2011 to 2012.


Ann Belser: abelser@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1699.


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