Profile: Wage & Income Trends

The average annual salary in the Detroit region is $58,526 — about $1,300 higher than the salary of the average American. Detroit region average salaries have increased by 20 percent since 2008.

plot Detroit salary-by-industry

Many Detroit region industries offer salaries that are similar or slightly above the national averages. However, salaries in three sectors are substantially lower than average:

Salary growth also varies by industry. Salaries in two sectors grew faster than the national rate from 2013-2018:

Industries with salaries that grew slower than the national rates are:

Salaries in the Information sector grew by 26%. This is a small figure when compared to the IT sector’s national salary growth rate of 60.8%.

plot Detroit per-capital-income 2018

Per capita income in the Detroit region has remained under the national average since 2008. With the exception of 2008 — when most of the country was reeling from the effects of the financial crisis — per capita income grew each year in the Detroit region. Per capita income in the Detroit region has grown at roughly the same rate as the per capita income of the US economy. In 2018, the US and Detroit region had per capita income growth rates of 4.9% and 4.6%, respectively.

plot Detroit median-household-income 2018

Median household income in the Detroit region is nearly equal to the national data. However, the growth rate of Detroit region median household income (+15.3%) was slower than the growth rate of national median household income (+19%).

During the economic recovery following the Great Recession, Detroit region median household income climbed from $48,903 in 2009 to $61,379 in 2018. In the same period, US median household income grew from $50,221 to $61,937.

plot Detroit percent-poverty 2018

Poverty in the Detroit region is higher than the national average. In 2018, 14.1% of the Detroit region’s population lived in poverty. This figure is a notable improvement when compared to the 2011 poverty rate of 17.9%.

Measures of child poverty follow a similar pattern. In the Detroit region, child poverty peaked in 2011 when 25.6% of people aged 18 and younger lived in poverty. By 2018, this figure fell to 20.7%. The child poverty rate in the Detroit region remains higher than the national child poverty rate of 18%.

Since 2008, poverty in the Detroit region has fallen by 6.3 percent.