PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon is one of 17 states to see declining household incomes in 2022, U.S. Census Bureau data shows. However, that data doesn’t tell the whole story, state officials say.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, Oregon saw a 2.2% drop in median household income in 2022 — the only Western state to see a decline during the same period. However, Oregon State Economist Josh Lehner told KOIN 6 News that Oregon’s income actually rose in 2022, just not as fast as inflation. 

“In the American Community Survey data, Oregon’s median household income increased 5.7%, compared with 6 to 8% inflation depending upon which index you want to use to measure it,” Lehner said.

Median household income
Oregon’s long-term median household income rates. (Oregon Office of Economic Analysis)

Despite the decrease shown in the 2022 census data, state economists say that Oregon’s median household income is still trending higher than the U.S. average.

“Oregon’s incomes no longer trail the nation like it did since the mills started closing in the early 1980s,” Lehner said. “Over the entire pandemic cycle, Oregon’s median household income growth ranks 30th nationwide, so right [near] the middle of the pack.”

The other 16 states with falling household incomes, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, include Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin, CBS News reports.

New Hampshire saw the largest decline in household income in 2022 with a 5.9% drop. However, the state also boasted one of the highest median household incomes in the U.S. at $89,992. Washington D.C. had the highest household income in the U.S. in 2022, with a median income of $101,027, but saw no growth. Delaware led the U.S. with an increase of 6.9%.

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  • employment rates

Unemployment rates also decreased in the state of Oregon in 2022, census data shows. Statewide employment rose from 57.6% to 59.7%. The U.S. Census Bureau is expected to release additional economic data in the coming weeks.