Hollowing of the Middle

I previously shared a map  twitter (see below) 2006 AT Household MEdian income comparision

What this map shows is the ratio of the After Tax Median Household Income of each Dissemination Area as a ratio to the same measure in Essex County. For clarity, it was $62,122 which means ares showing up in black have a median income 0-30% of the overall regional median income, the pale yellow 170%-247% the median income (white has no data).

A decade and a recession later the map looks different.

[Note the map looks physically different as Statistics Canada changed their default projection shape file for Canada between 2006 and 2011, I couldn’t track down a conversation file]

2016 AT Household MEdian income comparision

So what has changed? Well the median income of the region actually marginally declined to $62,075 while across Canada the median household income rose by nearly 10%.

Comparing the two maps you can see a significant change. Much of Windsor situated north of EC Row, areas of fuschia and light purple have been replaced by swaths of dark purple. The exception to this is Old Riverside (Ward 6) where pockets of orange of solidified. These mappings align with same areas that showed high rates of low income and lower rates of educational attainment in many of these same areas. .

The other big change is the growth in the pale/bright yellow in Lasalle, Lakeshore and South Windsor. Although the top of that rate has lowered from 247% to 217% of the median there are greater concentrations of these pockets in certain area.

Number of Census DA in Middle Median Income Ratios -Essex County
2006 2016
90%-110% 155 114
60%-140% 548 471

The middle class has geographically shrunk in Essex County with the number of neighbourhoods that you can define as middle class (from a statistical standpoint) have clearly declining. Although these neighbourhood do include people of higher (and lower) incomes, the medians illustrate exactly where the middle family is. Across Essex County, what has become clear is that wealth has become more centralized in certain neighbourhoods and for many the opportunity to be successful is dictated by where they live.

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