Lafayette smokes country in median income growth

by Leslie Turk

No other metro even comes to close to Lafayette's 12.2 percent increase in median household income from 2007 to 2010.

From 2007 to 2010, the median household income in Lafayette went from $42,067 to $47,200. That 12.2 percent increase makes the Lafayette metro the fastest-growing in the country, its closest competitor Corpus Christi, Texas, where median household income rose 9.4 percent to $50,621.

The median income among the top 1 percent of earners in Lafayette jumped 6.1 percent to $362,290.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday:

Oil and gas propelled resource-rich states through the recession, while manufacturing losses and the housing bust ripped a hole in the Rust Belt that has yet to be repaired.

A new study reflects a stark divide in economic fortunes across the country, with 38 states seeing household income decline during the period from recession to recovery, while the remainder reported gains, propelled by petroleum, shale and other energy commodities.

The District of Columbia notched the greatest increase over the 2007-2010 period, with an 8.1% jump in income, in large part because of federal-government employment.

Louisiana as a whole inched up 1.6 percent to $43,389, fifth best in the country, with the Houma-Thibodaux and Alexandria metros both growing 5.1 percent - to $49,850 and $41,029, respectively. That 5.1 percent increase tied them for 10th place with two other metros. The Baton Rouge area rose 4.4 percent to $50,827.

Read the rest of the WSJ story here (subscription required). Click here to view interactive maps showing the percent change in median household income from 2007 to 2010, the dollar threshold for the top 1 percent of earners in each state in 2010 and the percent change in that measure since 2007. You can also search the sortable tables grouped by state and by metro area to see how the different geographic regions rank.