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San Diegans’ Income Still Below Great Recession Levels

The downtown San Diego skyline is seen at night.

Photo by Ed 37 / Flickr /

Above: The downtown San Diego skyline is seen at night.

If you live in the San Diego area and still feel pinched by the Great Recession of 2007-2009, you're not alone.

Special Feature inewsource

If you live in the San Diego area and still feel pinched by the Great Recession of 2007-2009, census information released Thursday says that should be no surprise.

The median income (that’s right in the middle — half the households are above, half are below) in the San Diego-Carlsbad metro area was $61,426 in 2013, down 6.3 percent from 2009’s $65,575.

The San Diego area recorded the sixth-steepest decline in income among the country’s 25 largest metros. The figure was statistically unchanged from 2012.

The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area saw the largest decline in median household income from 2009 to 2013: 9.6 percent. Pittsburgh’s metro was the only one with positive income growth, increasing 2.1 percent.

San Diego’s median household income ranks ninth on the top 25 list. That’s $28,723 less than the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, No. 1 area, and $15,546 more than Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, which was last on the list.

In California, the San Diego metro area ranked second behind the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area and ahead of both the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro areas.

Nationally, the San Francisco area ranked just below the Washington, D.C., area.

The release of the U.S. Census Bureau’s data comes amidst a hard-fought signature gathering campaign to place San Diego’s minimum wage increase on the ballot.

It also comes amidst increasing statewide concern over economic inequality.

San Diegans’ Income Still Below Great Recession Levels

Line chart indicating San Diego's median household income from 2009-2013 compared to other major metropolitan areas. *Because of changes in geography, the Census Bureau did not provide income figures prior to last year for the Los Angeles metro area in 2013 inflation-adjusted numbers.

inewsource is a KPBS media partner.


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