Household incomes grew more in Nebraska than in any other state between 2009 and 2010.
Statistics released from the Census Bureau disclose that the median household income in Nebraska grew by seven-tenths of a percent during that period, up just over $300 to push the median annual income to nearly $48,500. The median income is the income at which half of Nebraska residents earn more and half earn less. Nebraska is in a select group. Only five states enjoyed positive income growth out of the 2008 recession. South Dakota, North Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia also enjoyed an increase in household income, but none increased more than Nebraska.
Center for Public Affairs researcher David Drozd at the University of Nebraska-Omaha says rural western Nebraska saw the biggest income boost as farmers prospered.
“The easiest explanation is that we did see a rise in commodity prices and overall profit margins in the agriculture sector,” according to Drozd. “So, that’s what led to Nebraska’s gain overall.”
While rural areas benefit from a robust farm economy, the Omaha metropolitan area is suffering a bit. The Census Bureau reports that incomes in the Omaha region dropped a percent, which offset increases in rural Nebraska and drove the state poverty rate up by slightly more than half a percentage point to 12.9%. Incomes in the Lincoln region drew, but not as much as in rural Nebraska.