PROVIDENCE – The median wage for a worker in the Providence-Warwick-Fall River metropolitan area, when adjusted for cost of living, and federal and state income taxes, was slightly more than the national average, according to the Hamilton Project, a new interactive website created by the Brookings Institution.
The project is designed to help people understand what the true value of a given wage is in selected regions, adjusting for a number of factors, allowing for a more informed comparison of one region to another.
Thus, while the unadjusted median income of the Providence metro area was $46,000, according to the project, compared with $41,216 nationally and $55,694 in the Boston metro, when adjusted for the cost of living and income taxes, it totals $33,923, compared with the national average of $31,595 and $35,869 in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton metro.
When adjusted solely for cost of living, the median income in the Providence metro was $148 higher than the unadjusted median wage at $46,148. When solely adjusted for income taxes, the median wage declined to $33,828.
The report also allowed for adjustment of specific occupational median wages for cost of living and income taxes. The following are a few selected adjusted wages for job sectors included in the report:
- The median yearly wage for executive, administrative and managerial occupations in the Providence metro area was $50,447. The national median wage was $51,196. In the Boston metro area, the adjusted executive, administrative and managerial median was $52,993.
- Management-related occupations paid a median wage of $45,502 in the Providence metro, compared with $44,796 nationally and $45,514 in the Boston metro.
- Engineers, architects and surveyors earned a median wage of $56,205 in the Providence metro, compared with $60,669 nationally and $54,355 in the Boston metro.
- Health diagnosing occupations earned an adjusted median income of $99,852, compared with $81,731 in the Boston metro and $103,667 nationally.
- The adjusted median wage of a natural scientist occupation in the Providence metro was $50,447, compared with $48,649 nationally and $45,901 in the Boston metro.
The Hamilton Project also allowed adjustments based on age:
- In the Providence metro, when adjusted for the cost of living and income tax, those from the ages of 25 to 34 earned a median income of $27,351, compared with $29,362 in the Boston metro and $25,950 nationally
- Providence metro 35-year-old to 44-year-old workers earned an adjusted median of $36,007, compared to $39,103 in the Boston metro and $33,549 nationally.
- Adjusted median earnings peaked in the age bracket from 45 to 54 years old in the Providence metro area at $37,716. Boston metro earnings for the same age bracket were an adjusted $39,569 while nationally the age bracket earned $35,800.
- Those from 55 to 64 years of age earned an adjusted median income of $36,812 in the Providence metro, while Boston metro workers earned a median of $39,103. Nationally 55- to 64-year-old workers earned an adjusted $35,340.
- The metro areas with the highest median earnings in the United States when adjusted for cost of living and income taxes were the California-Lexington Park, Md. metro, the Bloomington, Ill., metro and the Midland, Texas, metro.
- Of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the highest median earnings adjusted for cost of living and income taxes, the top three states were Alaska, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.
For more information, users can visit the Hamilton Project website, which contains an interactive map. Data for the project came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2012–16.
Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.