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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

If you are poor it is better to live in Howard County than most other counties


      A new article in the New York Times about a study that compared the earning potential of low income residents in different counties in the United States showed that Howard County did better than 75% of other counties in the country.  On average growing up in a low income family in Howard County will translate into an annual income increase of $2,180 over families living in an average county.  Not surprisingly Baltimore City has the worst outcomes for children growing up in low income families with a decrease of $4,510 in annual income.
     As the New York Times article states:

      "If you’re poor and live in the Baltimore area, it’s better to be in Howard County than in Baltimore County or Baltimore City. Not only that, the younger you are when you move toHoward, the better you will do on average. Children who move at earlier ages are less likely to become single parents, more likely to go to college and more likely to earn more.
      Every year a poor child spends in Howard County adds about $110 to his or her annual household income at age 26, compared with a childhood spent in the average American county. Over the course of a full childhood, which is up to age 20 for the purposes of this analysis, the difference adds up to about $2,200, or 8 percent, more in average income as a young adult."

    While it is not surprising that the outcomes are so different in Howard County than Baltimore City it is hard to identify what factors are causing these different outcomes.   Correlation is not causation.  Certainly schools and other factors of growing up in a wealthy county would point to better outcomes in Howard County but it is harder to clearly identify the family dynamics that may differ from growing up in Baltimore than in Howard County.


1 comment:

Chris Bachmann said...

What's interesting is the trend among well of and wealthy boys not just in the county, but through the whole region. I'm curious as to why. It's great taht girls are doing particularly well. That's an excellent sign, but I do wonder if we're failing boys somewhere.