Find the median household income in your part of Cobb County

A graphic of a couple with a baby and various things representing income calculation

[Editor’s note: the original headline read “median family income.” The census variable is actually “median household income.”]

This morning we posted a pair of interactive maps to help readers find what the 2022 American Community Survey (ACS) from the U.S. Census Bureau shows about median housing values in different parts of Cobb County. For a description of the ACS and how it is different from the the better-known decennial (every 10 year) census, scroll to the bottom of the article.

But what about median household income?

As before, we’ve included two maps. Clicking on any part of either map will give you the census tract number and the median household income at that point.

The first one has high color contrast and opacity so you can get a good high-level overview of how income is distributed around the county.

The second has lighter colors and more transparency so that you can pan around, zoom in, and find your street on the map. The darker map with higher opacity makes the street labels hard to read.

Here are the two maps:

Map with more contrast for a general idea of median household income across Cobb

Map with less contrast to make it easier to find your street on the map

As with median home values, median household income data for Cobb doesn’t have much in the way of surprises. The highest household incomes are in East Cobb and Vinings. The lowest are dispersed around the county, but include a tract in Mableton and one in the Franklin Gateway area of Marietta.

I located my own census tract on the map, 313.14, and found we are in about the middle of the county’s range, at $124,534.00.

What is the American Community Survey?

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a vital ongoing demographic survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau. It serves as a comprehensive source of information about the American population and its characteristics. Unlike the decennial census, which occurs once every ten years, the ACS is conducted continuously throughout the year, providing more up-to-date and detailed data.

The ACS collects information on various topics, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, education, housing, income, employment, and more. It aims to provide a detailed and accurate snapshot of the nation’s social, economic, and housing conditions. The survey’s primary purpose is to assist government agencies, policymakers, researchers, businesses, and communities in making informed decisions and allocating resources effectively.

Each year, the ACS samples around 3.5 million households across the United States and Puerto Rico. It gathers data through a combination of mailed questionnaires, telephone interviews, and in-person visits, depending on the response method chosen by the sampled household. The survey employs a rolling sample design, ensuring that data from various geographic areas are collected continuously, resulting in a diverse and representative dataset.

The ACS data is crucial for various purposes, such as determining the distribution of federal funds for programs like Medicaid, housing assistance, and transportation infrastructure. Additionally, it assists businesses in market research and helps local governments plan for infrastructure development and public services.

The Cobb County Courier considers the ACS the most important data source in the Census Bureau except during the politically critical period of redistricting, which uses the decennial census.