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Local Medina County News

Medina County income slips a notch

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    ED BETZEL / GAZETTE

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Medina County’s median household income in 2017 dropped by 3.8 percent even though residents still can boast that they live in one of the most prosperous counties in Ohio.

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, Medina County ranks fourth among the state’s 39 most populous counties with a median income of $71,360. All amounts have been adjusted for inflation.

The Census Bureau released its detailed look at America’s people, places and economy with new statistics on income, poverty, health insurance and other topics.

“The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics about all communities in the United States,” David Waddington, Census Bureau Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division chief, said in a statement. “It gives communities the current information they need to plan investments and services.”

Waddington said retailers, homebuilders, fire departments and city planners rely on the annual statistics.

Medina County’s median household income in 2016 was $74,180, about $2,800 more than households reported as income a year later.

The county’s median household income is considerably higher than the state’s $54,021 and the U.S.’s $60,336.

The nation’s median household income increased 2.6 percent between 2016 and 2017. Its $60,336 was the highest measured at the American Community Survey since it was fully implemented in 2005.

Delaware County, north of Columbus, was ranked first in Ohio in median household income at $106,933, an increase of 2.9 percent from 2016’s $103,880.

Warren County, northeast of Cincinnati, was second at $84,130 and Geauga County third at $82,741.

The census report estimated that 5.7 percent of Medina County residents lived below the poverty line in 2017, which was a drop from 6.3 percent in 2016. The county tied with Delaware County for the second-lowest rate in the state.

Only Warren County’s rate of 4.2 percent was lower.

“While declining poverty numbers in this report are encouraging at first blush, we know that people continue to struggle to meet the basics to sustain their households,” United Way of Medina County CEO Cheryl Parzych said in an email. “In a recent update to the United Way-commissioned ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) study of working people in Ohio, Medina County showed an uptick, to 25 percent, in those trying to reach a survival budget — without savings or any cushion for the unexpected.

“These households move in and out of poverty with their circumstances; the cost of basics continues to rise. Many in Medina County are fighting to help ALICE get ahead, including our own Employing Medina County program.”

Athens County had the highest poverty rate in the state at 29.4 percent in 2017.

Among Ohio’s 10 largest cities, Youngstown had the highest poverty rate at 34.9 percent, with Cleveland a step behind at 33.1 percent.

Ohio’s poverty rate was 14 percent, higher than the nation’s rate of 13.4 percent.

Poverty rates declined in 20 states and the District of Columbia. It increased in only two states: Delaware and West Virginia.

Medina County ranked fourth statewide in median home values in 2017 at $199,200, an increase of 5.4 percent from the year before when the median value was $188,978.

In comparison, the median home value in Medina County in 2005 was $224,603, the highest level in the last 14 years.

Delaware County was ranked first in home values at $300,200, a drop of 0.8 percent from 2016’s value of $302,570. Geauga County is second at $259,200 and Warren County is third at $213,500.

Cuyahoga County’s median home value in 2017 was $131,700, lower than Summit County’s $143,500 and Wayne County’s $149,600.

Among some of the largest cities in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland’s median home value was $70,200, Akron’s $81,600 and Youngstown $41,400.

Ohio’s median home value was $144,200 in 2017, lower than U.S. median of $217,600.

“The latest data on household income reflects Medina County’s strong standing among economies in the region,” said Medina County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Bethany Dentler. “The low poverty numbers could be a result of concerted community efforts over the past five years to not only provide relief, but to lift those in poverty out of those conditions through workforce development and training.”

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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