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Census Survey Shows Affluent Suffer, Too

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A new report by the U.S. Census Bureau shows the economic downturn is taking a toll in areas previously thought to be recession-resistant.
ideastream®'s Rick Jackson's been looking at the numbers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 3:42 pm

The 2008 American Community Survey indicates that household incomes in some of Northeast Ohio's most affluent communities, are falling, and in some cases by relatively high percentages.

Using median household incomes as a basis, the census bureau
surveyed 16 municipalities with populations of more than 20,000 in Cuyahoga County; and 12 similar sized towns in Summit County.

While income reductions in cities such as Euclid and East Cleveland may have been anticipated - drops in North Royalton, Strongsville, Hudson - where income was reduced by nearly 8% - and Brunswick; in Medina County, may not have been.

Economic researcher and analyst George Zeller says such reductions in wealthier suburbs are a strong barometer of the region's employment troubles

GEORGE ZELLER: "There's an awful lot of people in Strongsville who work in finance and insurance or manufacturing elsewhere in the county, and those people have been hit very hard just as the people in East Cleveland had - so this is not just a Cleveland & East Cleveland problem by any means."

Not all communities suffered declining household income. Several showed INCREASES, including Solon, Westlake and Shaker Heights. Also showing a nominal boost in the average household income were Cleveland, Lorain, and Parma.

Each annual American Community Survey averages the current year plus the two previous years - that's to smooth out any anomalous spikes that may occur and give a better idea of trends over several years.

The data is gathered to help determine how more than $400 billion of federal tax dollars are allocated.

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