Census Bureau Data: Richest Counties Get Richer, Poorest Get Poorer


Baroukh added that Falls Church was an ideal location for businesses.

"The city of Falls Church has a lot to offer given its location to near two metro stations, very good access to major transportation routes and very good accessibility to two major airports, Dulles and Reagan," Baroukh said.

Tim Hemstreet, county administrator of Loudoun, said his county income levels have been in the upper range for the past decade and therefore he was not surprised by the census data. He agreed that education and the county's proximity to federal agencies and contractors were main components to the high income levels.

"We also have a very good education system, a lot of access to higher education, and a highly skilled workforce," said Hemstreet.

Economists and urban planners are combing through the new data, which is an update since the Census Bureau's 2000 census. This data has a smaller margin of error from the time the Community Survey began in 2005.

Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist of Key Private Bank, said the data showed that the effects of the recession were hardest on the poorest areas.

"It was the bottom ranks that really showed the major change," said McCain. "This has been a very deep and hard recession."

He said the largest percentage increase in income data was in Kalawao County, Hawaii, whose median household income increased to $52,813 from $ 12,014. Though McCain acknowledged that could be a statistical error.

Ezra Glenn, a lecturer with MIT's Urban Studies and Planning Department, said the questions in the survey were not new, but more current data would be very useful for researchers in community development.

"If you look at say, New England, where things change relatively slowly, it can get quite a lot of development, or a population can get a lot older, in a 10-year period," said Glenn.

Glenn said economic and population figures are important for issues such as affordable housing and transportation planning.

"These are the kinds of things a planner would need to know. You can't do this overnight," he said. "You have to plan at least five years ahead of time. The more current our data is, the better we'll all be."

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