A Collection of Articles, Opinions, and Research on the Economy.
I geeked out over this graph, mostly because it didn't make a whole lot of sense to me the more I looked into it. For example, Garfield County Colorado has an unemployment rate of 3% and Wikipedia says it has an average median income per family of 47,000$. Conversely, King County Washington has an unemployment rate of 9.2% but an average median income of 68,500$. This information brought with it a variety of questions like, how much does population size affect median income? How much does big business such as Boeing or Microsoft? Or the fact that King country has a half dozen colleges while Garfield county only has one? But mostly, how does one county have lower unemployment but make less money?
I have to agree with you, Quentin. I thought that one answer to your question regarding population size and median income could be that some cities are simply more "popular", meaning people want to live there due to jobs, geographical location, schooling, etc. The more I think about it, however, I am now thinking that it has to do with the specialization of each state, or area, of the country. For example, farming in the mid-west and advertising and media in Southern California.
The income measures control for population, the median income is per person. One possible explanation behind the discrepancy is tied to income distribution and urban/rural population. Typically larger cities have more high income earners and also larger measures of unemployment. Rural areas tend to have one income households (a stay at home parent is not counted as unemployed). This would explain both a higher unemployment and median income in urban areas.