The 2014 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau gives a county by county and even neighborhood by neighborhood look at something most of us probably know: Idaho was in worse shape after the Great Recession. For the first time this year the census allows people to compare two non-overlapping five-year periods. Those are 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, a rough approximation of before the recession and after it.
No Idaho counties saw an increase in median household income between the two five-year blocks. Many counties saw no change, but many also had smaller household incomes between 2010 and 2014 than they had from 2005 to 2009. Most of the counties that make up the Treasure Valley saw a decrease in income.
In the most recent five-year period Blaine County had the highest household income, between $60,000 and $69,999. A few Idaho counties, including Ada County, had incomes between $45,000 and $59,999. Most were $35,000 to $44,999 and some, including Owyhee County, had incomes less than $35,000 a year.
It’s no surprise that declining incomes and increased poverty would come together. Poverty went up in several Idaho counties, including all of the Treasure Valley counties from the 2005-2009 period to the 2010-2014 period. Poverty rates in many counties remained unchanged and only Nez Perce County saw a decrease in poverty.
The Census numbers show that 10-14.9 percent of Ada County residents lived in poverty between 2010 and 2014. Poverty rates were higher in the rest of the Treasure Valley.
Go On Southwest Idaho
One bright spot for the Treasure Valley is that Ada, Canyon, Elmore and Gem Counties saw an increase in the percent of the population with college degrees between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014. Most other Idaho counties did not.
Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam
Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio