Population Migration – Income Information

The American Community Survey has limited information on population migration and income. For Dennis, it is limited to the movement of people within the state. Dennis had over three times the people move into town from elsewhere in Massachusetts than we had move to other towns in the state. This exceeds the net migration pattern as a whole. The conclusions, therefor are difficult to digest, but I will try.

The Barnstable County Median Family Income stands at $74,900, 24.4% of the people moving out of Dennis to other places in Massachusetts earned over this figure while 51% of those moving into Dennis earned over this figure. In real numbers, nearly 300 people more, earning above the county’s median income, moved into town than moved out.

A family earning 80% of median income in Barnstable County earns no more than $63,400 (family of 4). Looking at the migration data for the nearest lower data set, 48.5% of those leaving Dennis earned less than $50,000 while just 24.9% of those moving into Dennis earned less than this figure. In real numbers, however, the demand for affordable housing continued to rise as nearly 140 more people moved into town earning below 80% of median income than moved out.

A more telling figure is population below the Federal Poverty Rate of $10,000. Twenty-two percent of those moving out of Dennis earned below the poverty line, while only 8% of those moving in to Dennis was below this level. In real numbers, however, 9 more people moved into Dennis earning below the poverty rate than moved out.

Unfortunately the data on the movement of people by income levels is limited. The lack of information for the wider spectrum of the migrating population is problematic when trying to draw conclusions. At initial face value, more income moved in to town than moved out. However, the town still wound up with larger numbers of low income people as a result of net migration. We do not know if these lower income households represent households with children, or if they represent retired households. There is much that the newly available data does not tell us.

We can conclude that:

  • There continues to be a growing demand for housing of persons earning less than 80% of median income.
  • Services and housing for people earning below the poverty rate remain critical.
  • Amenities for higher earning households also need to be considered and provided.
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