Which counties in the Jackson, MS metro area have the highest and lowest income levels?
Market analysis is an important part of almost every real estate appraisal assignment I perform. In comparing the subject property with other similar properties, one of the first factors I consider is income.
/ˈinˌkəm/ noun: money received, especially on a regular basis, for work or through investments.
Before we begin, it might be helpful to have an understanding of where the six counties lie within the Jackson, MS Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). I haven’t taken the time to label this map, but Yazoo County is the northwest county, Madison is the northeast county, Hinds County is in the west-central county, Rankin County is in the east-central county, Copiah County is the southwest county, and Simpson County is the southeast county.
Total population and number of households
It might also help to know the population and number of households for each county. If you’re from Mississippi, you probably already know that Hinds County is the largest county in the state of Mississippi in terms of population. That’s primarily because the city of Jackson, which is the state capital and the largest city in Mississippi, is located in Hinds County. Here’s how all the counties in the Jackson, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area compare in terms of population and number of households.
Per Capita Income and Median Household Income
Here’s a look how the counties compare in terms of per capita income and median household income.
As you can see, Madison County has the highest median household income of all the counties in the Jackson MSA, with Rankin County not far behind. The median household income in Hinds County is fairly close to the median household incomes in Simpson and Copiah counties, with Yazoo County significantly lower than the rest.
There’s nothing too surprising about the per capita income chart above. It’s basically a somewhat flattened version of the median household income chart.
Distribution of income groups in the Jackson, MS Metro area
The median household income tells us that roughly half of the households in a particular county have income levels above the median, and roughly half of them have levels below the median. The question is, what do those groups look like? How big are they? Why is the median household income Madison County so high, and the median household income for Yazoo County so low? By digging a little deeper, we can see how the household income levels are actually distributed within each county, and in turn, understand why the median for Madison County is so high, and why the median for Yazoo County is so low.
Standard deviations of income groups
So in which county do you think the income groups are most evenly distributed? It might surprise you to learn that it’s Madison County. (Note that I said income groups, not income. We’ll get to that in a minute). To put it another way, if you compare the percentage comprised by each colored area (income group) to its bar (county), you will find that there is less variation between the groups within Madison County than in the other counties. Hinds County is second, Rankin County is third, Simpson County is fourth, Copiah County is fifth, and Yazoo County is sixth. Here are the standard deviations of the income groups within each county.
- Madison County: 2.425%
- Hinds County: 2.684%
- Rankin County: 3.016%
- Simpson County: 3.056%
- Copiah County: 3.316%
- Yazoo County: 4.631%
Madison County has a higher percentage of upper-income households
One of the reasons that the income groups are most evenly distributed in Madison County is that they have a much higher percentage of upper-income households. Those aren’t the “1-percenters” the Occupy Wall Street folks are upset about, but I suspect they probably attend the same parties. The following table breaks down the data a little differently in terms of income groups.
As you can see, Rankin County and Madison County have very similar percentages of all but the highest income group. Of course, there are wealthy households in every county in the Jackson MSA, but when it comes to the highest income group, none of them comes close to Madison County, where 8.45% of the households have incomes of $200,000 or more. What’s more, the mean income of the top 5% is extremely high, at $407,360.
Quintile share of aggregate income
Here’s another interesting statistic to ponder: what percentage of the aggregate income does each group have? The answer is illustrated in the following chart. The top 20% of households in Madison County takes home 52.64% of the income. Although the top quintile in Madison County has the highest aggregate share, the concentration of income among the top quintile is relatively consistent across the Jackson MSA.
In fact, this pattern appears to be fairly consistent across the country (at least at the county level and up). Here’s the same chart for seven randomly selected counties across the United States.
That’s going to wrap up our analysis of income demographics in the Jackson, MS Metropolitan Statistical Area. Keep in mind that all these statistics are about income, which is not the same as wealth. Income is analogous to a paycheck, whereas wealth is the value of what you own.
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