After adjusting for inflation, the majority of Americans are worse off today than they were decades ago. The map below shows that median household income actually peaked at least 15 years ago in 81% of U.S. counties.
This visualization of household incomes is from an interactive map created by the Washington Post that allows users to zoom in on individual counties to see how income has changed over the years.
Some of the more interesting revelations include:
- Income peaked one year ago for many of the counties that are a part of the shale boom. This includes much of North and South Dakota, as well as parts of Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Income in Washington, D.C. and neighboring Arlington County also peaked then.
- In 1999, a total of 1,623 counties had their households reach peak income. The majority of these counties are in the Midwest and Southeast.
- The most southern part of California and parts of New England both peaked around 25 years ago.
- Many states along the Rocky Mountains such as Wyoming and Montana had counties that peaked roughly 35 years ago.
- Household income peaked in upstate New York, the northern tip of California, and southern Nevada at the same time that humans were first landing on the moon in 1969.
But we have one simple question...After reading all of the above, what is it exactly The Fed does?