St. Mary’s County isn’t as rich as it was two years ago.
The U.S. Census Bureau released 2011 information on median household income last week, which was sorted by county by The Washington Post.
The paper’s ranking places St. Mary’s at No. 33 in median household income across the country. It was No. 14 in 2010.
The median household income in St. Mary’s went from $88,444 to $81,657, the bureau reported.
Charles County ranks No. 11 in the nation with a median household income of $91,733. Calvert County is No. 16 in the country with a median of $89,393.
Maryland had the highest median household income in the United States at $70,004 in 2011. Mississippi had the lowest at $36,919.
Generally, there was little statistical change between household incomes for states from 2010 to 2011, the census bureau reported.
However, the 2010 household income number for St. Mary’s seems to have been a spike in the data, said Laura Boonchaisri, economic development coordinator with the St. Mary’s County Department of Economic and Community Development.
Median household income in St. Mary’s was around $82,000 in 2007 and 2008, then it dipped in 2009, spiked in 2010 and is back at $81,657.
“Thirty-third out of the United States is good news,” she said.
According to The Washington Post’s list, Carroll, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Montgomery and Howard counties saw more household income than St. Mary’s. Howard County’s income was $98,953, the highest in Maryland for 2011 and fifth overall in the country. Loudon County, Va., was No. 1 at $119,134.
Bob Schaller, former director of St. Mary’s economic and community development, is now a business consultant. He said he doesn’t put too much stock into the median household income data, as they are year-to-year estimates.
“I don’t know that year-to-year data means a lot,” he said. “You can’t use a year-to-year number. It doesn’t make any sense.” There’s no reason why the income number would shoot up and then fall back down, he said.
“I wouldn’t dismiss it, but I wouldn’t take it at face value either,” he said.
Boonchaisri also said there doesn’t seem to be any reason why the income level shot up in 2010.
The economy of St. Mary’s remains the same, dominated by Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
Unemployment in St. Mary’s is just about the same as where it was last year, Boonchaisri said. In July 2011 in St. Mary’s 6.6 percent of the labor force was jobless. This July it was 6.3 percent.