News Story

In Michigan, Rich are Getting Richer – So Are the Poor

Number of lower and middle income households decreasing as more earn $100,000+

The number of Michigan households in higher income brackets has been on the rise in recent years.

The number of households earning at least $100,000 annually increased 45 percent between 2005 and 2016, going from 591,446 to 857,648, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

During the same period, the number of households earning between $25,000 and $100,000 declined by 5.3 percent, from 2.3 million to 2.1 million. And the number whose residents who earned less than $25,000 fell by 15.0 percent, from 1.0 million to 889,192.

Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and member of the Mackinac Center Board of Scholars, found similar trends throughout the United States.

According to Perry, over a 50-year period, the proportion of American households earning $50,000 a year or less fell 11.4 percent, and there were 5.2 percent fewer households earning between $50,000 and $100,000. Perry found that even after adjusting for inflation, the number of households earning $100,000 and above had more than tripled, from 8.1 percent to 24.7 percent.

James Hohman, a fiscal policy analyst at the Mackinac Center, said the trend in Michigan’s household incomes is a positive one.

“Michigan’s middle class is shrinking. So is its lower class,” Hohman said. “More people are in higher income households, and that is good thing.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.