Barnstable County, 3rd Lowest Average Weekly Wage In The Commonwealth

Which Massachusetts counties and industries earned the most in 2015? |


How Rich and Poor Spend (and Earn) Their Money – Real Time Economics – WSJ

Dennis, and most of Cape Cod, has a high percentage of retirees as year round residents. Census data reviewed by the town for the recent housing summit reinforced the high percentage of income going towards housing costs for the retiree income group. Beyond the added burden of food for retirees, is the out of pocket costs for medical expenses. This analysis continues to illustrate the dire need we have to produce affordable housing.

Report sees fewer educated workers: Boston Gobe

Report sees fewer educated workers

Some scary predictions. The Cape, Pioneer Valley and the Berkshires continue to be left behind as other parts of the state’s college trained population grows. And it is a rather large hit given the net result is a drop in college trained population on a statewide basis.

The report predicts that between 2010 and 2030, the number of working-age adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher will fall by 41 percent on Cape Cod; 27 percent in the Pioneer Valley; and 9 percent in the Berkshires.

Meanwhile, the rest of the state will see gains of 1 percent in the southeast region; 5 percent in the northeast region; 9 percent in Central Massachusetts; and 10 percent in both the Metrowest region and in Greater Boston.

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.

Population Migration – New Data

Way back in 2009 I posted several times on estimated population migration patterns to and from Barnstable County based upon IRS tax return information.  Recently the United States Census Bureau released information from the American Community Survey on these trends. Later I will try to draw some county basis comparisons between the 2004-2008 IRS migration patterns and the 2007-2011 Census Bureau ones, but below is a quick highlight of where Dennis residents were moving to, or arriving from, on a year over year comparison (2010 – 2011).

People Moving Out

Approximately 6% of the 2010 Dennis population moved out of town by 2011. The largest percentage of these movers, moved elsewhere in the county (38%).  Overall 64% of those who moved, moved elsewhere in the state. After Barnstable County, the largest destination in Massachusetts for Dennis residents was Middlesex County (8%). Popular destinations for Dennis residents leaving the state included Tennessee (nearly 10%), California (5%) and Connecticut (5%).

People Moving In

Approximately 7% of the population in Dennis in 2011 was not living here in 2010. Dennis actually had about 200 more people locate in town than left town in this one year time period. As people moved from Dennis to other Barnstable County towns, so did people move from these towns into Dennis (45%). The Dennis population grew by about 150 people just from the net migration between Dennis and other Cape communities. Of the total migration of population into Dennis, 71% came from within the Commonwealth, a net growth of about 200 people which accounts for nearly all of the town’s net population growth.

From outside of Barnstable County, Dennis attracted the most people from Suffolk County, Massachusetts, about 12%, and the State of Florida, about 11%. New York was the only other significant origin of people arriving in Dennis with about 4% of all those who arrived in town coming from there.

Some Thoughts

So, what does this all mean? Quick thoughts, based upon the numbers, and the people who come into the Planning Office for home renovation projects:

  • When you look beyond Barnstable County, we attract a number of people from the Boston and New York areas who make their seasonal homes in Dennis into their retirement homes.
  • The in-migration from Florida (nearly 80 people) is more reflective of the continuing economic situation in Florida, which is lagging behind the national economic recovery.
  • While economic and educational attainment data was also released for these migration patterns (which I have not yet tried to digest), age group information would be very useful. We do not know if we are receiving an older population and losing younger people based upon this information.

Overall, the Dennis population was more mobile than the nation for the same time period. Nationally, county to county migration rates have fallen below 4%, migration between Dennis and non-Barnstable origins and destinations was about 7.5%.