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Old 01-16-2013, 06:05 AM
 
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I was looking at the data City Data presents on its home page for areas of Boston and I was wondering if someone can explain the differences median family versus median household income. I'm perplexed. One census tract literally has a median family income that is 80% higher than the median household income. That doesn't make sense to me.

Is there a problem with City Data's data? Or, does someone have a definition of these values that might explain the incredibly high variance between the two?
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
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Median Household Income refers to all households which includes families, non-family households, single person households etc.

Median Family Income refers to just families.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
Median Household Income refers to all households which includes families, non-family households, single person households etc.

Median Family Income refers to just families.
That makes sense, but I don't that can possibly account for an 80% differential in income between the two measures in the same census tract. I didn't find that kind of discrepancy for other census tracts. I think it's a database error.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
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Originally Posted by rranger View Post
That makes sense, but I don't that can possibly account for an 80% differential in income between the two measures in the same census tract. I didn't find that kind of discrepancy for other census tracts. I think it's a database error.
Well its not uncommon for the median family income to be substantially higher than the median household income, especially in places that have lots of singles and fewer families.

For example, in my city Oakland, CA, the median married family income is $84,122 compared to a non-family household median income of $40,221.

One of the greatest motivations for a person to become financially responsible is getting married and starting a family. LOL
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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What is the exact definition of family? Do the mother and father have to be married? Can there be a single parent? Can the family be childless, or have a child away at school, or like man/wife/mother-in-law? By what criteria is a household included or excluded from family status?
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:10 PM
 
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Median Family Income gives a much more accurate view of how rich/poor an area is.

Think about it, if there's an 2-square-mile area and 4/5ths of it is affluent suburbs and the the other 1/5th is a giant apartment complex catering to college students/section 8 people then the median household income of the entire area will be brought down MASSIVELY and it will paint an inaccurate view of how poor the area is.
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