Monday, November 18, 2013

Census Data Show Home Price Impacts and Income Gaps

Two local news stories today utilize data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS).

The first article reports that among Oregon counties, the median home price dropped by the most (-$87,300) between the 2007-2009 and 2010-2012 Census estimates*. Crook County showed the second-largest median home price decline, with a drop of $64,900. Homeownership rates also suffered in Central Oregon over the period, with declines of 5.6 percentage points, 4.8 percentage points, and 3.8 percentage points in Crook, Jefferson, and Deschutes counties, respectively. More details can be found from The Bulletin.

The second report, from the Statesman Journal, picks up on a recent report from the Washington Post, which uses Census data to rank U.S. zip codes according to income and college education. The report found that West Salem falls in the 73rd percentile nationally, meaning it is wealthier and better educated than 72 out of 100 zip codes in the country. At the same time, downtown and North Salem are in the 17th percentile, or the bottom one-fifth of all U.S. zip codes.

Beyond Salem, parts of Eugene, the West Hills of Portland, Beaverton and Lake Oswego are among the highest-income and highest-college-education zip codes, while Southern Oregon small towns, most of Eastern Oregon and the Portland neighborhoods of Rockwood and Old Town all are listed in the bottom one-fifth of zip codes nationally. Additional details are available in the full article, or from the Washington Post, where you can look up any zip code in the U.S. and get data!

*This article uses three-year estimates from the Census, which describe the population and housing characteristics of an area for the period from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012. They do not capture information for one specific day, month, or year in the three-year period. These data are available for 27 of Oregon's 36 counties.

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