In our research of local financial issues, we found The Detroit News had a well written article by Christine MacDonald and Nicquel Terry last week detailing the first rise of median income (Average family income) in the city of Detroit since the turn of the century (Census: Detroit Incomes Up For First Time Since 2000). It sounded like good news on the surface as there also was a decrease in the city’s poverty level (Defined at $24,563.00 for a family of four). However, a deeper dive into this article’s statistics revealed that while this is a glimmer of light, there’s still a long ways to go for this region’s recovery.
Let’s start with the raw numbers first for areas with population over 65,000 people…
Data: American Community Survey; US Census Bureau 2016 2015
Detroit Yearly Poverty Level 35.7% 39.8%
Detroit Yearly Median Income $28,099.00 $26,127.00
Michigan Yearly Poverty Level 15% 15.8%
Michigan Yearly Median Income $52,492.00 $51,584.00
Midwest Yearly Median Income $55,712.00 $54,597.76
In a nutshell, the area is in better shape than it was a year prior, but Detroit is still statistically the poorest big city (100,000 people or more) in America when you go by the poverty level percentage numbers and median income levels. Detroiters should look at these statistics and ask themselves what can be done to improve this number. This is how changes will come, first by looking at yourself, then your block, then your neighborhood, and finally, your community as a whole. It starts with YOU. The best way to avoid being included in the poverty cycle is to recognize that YOU can change your circumstances.
Many people that are part of this grouping may be under-skilled, under-employed, or unemployed and though it is easier said than done, you must work to prepare your personal storehouse in case of crisis. If you can do better, make the effort to be better. It is noted in the Bible that ‘There will always be poor people in the land (Deuteronomy 15:11) and we would be remiss not to acknowledge that some can’t work or their situations don’t allow for them to do better than where they are. It is the American way for communities to come together to aid those who are unable to improve their situation. We can’t be unwilling to play our part.
There are multiple ways to change your income level, but you have to be confident that the ability to generate and control their income is already there inside you. You must always position yourself as an asset and not a liability at any workplace. Protests to get $15.00 an hour from fast food franchises that don’t have the budget to pay that are not the answer. Also, never settle strictly within your current skill level and keep adding to your skill set when working for others. Eventually, you’ll work toward making your passions your career or entrepreneurial vision. Only you can establish what’s your true worth.
As we have stated before, financial education should be in your personal tool belt, whether your journey is in a stage of organizing your finances or wealth building. Recognizing your behaviors and tolerances concerning money is also an essential piece of the puzzle. Finally, paying attention to where your money goes and operating within a spending plan or budget can give you a better ability to handle your financial business.
The only way to move this region ahead of statistics like these is to stop being just interested in getting your situation together and committing to making it so. By committing to better financial habits now, it should lead to better financial health in this region going forward.
Founded in 2015, DNA Financial Services LLC has pledged to Educate, Empower and Equip the financial DNA of its’ clients now and for generations to come. The company offers a number of financial services designed to bridge the gap in wealth building education while aiding and advocating for the financial literacy of people from all walks of life.