BOSTON -- Governor Charlie Baker's pro-growth leadership and focus on economic opportunity led to a "dramatic" increase in average household income in Massachusetts last year. Notably, "the gains weren’t split by inequality or confined to those in upper income brackets."
Household income in Massachusetts was way up last year
By Evan Horowitz
Household income in Massachusetts rose dramatically last year — by 5.3 percent — second only to Idaho nationwide, according to the latest numbers released Thursday by the Census Bureau.
Significantly, the gains weren’t split by inequality or confined to those in upper income brackets. Total income for the median household — the one right in the middle of the income ladder — reached $75,300 in 2016, compared with $71,500 in 2015. There also were raises across all education levels, from high school dropouts to people with PhDs.
But Massachusetts is actually enjoying a multiyear upward trend, with households steadily climbing the national income ladder. Just since 2007, it has passed New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Hawaii — so that today the state has the fourth-highest median income in the country.
If you’re wondering about the secret sauce, start with the resilience of Greater Boston, which has found a way to bind universities, startups, and health care giants together to form the kind of knowledge-based economy that the 21st century seems to reward. Few cities can match what Boston has achieved, and only two can boast higher household incomes.
Right now, Massachusetts is outperforming virtually every other state, when it comes to putting more money in the pockets of average families. But lackluster growth south of Boston is a sign that we might not be doing enough to connect all residents to economic opportunity — even when it’s right here.