Setting the record straight after flubbing up a fact
An astute reader brought an embarrassing mistake to our attention in One Martin's most recent e-newsletter, “A look at the state's third-wealthiest county,” distributed August 1. We need to correct the e-newsletter here, and we humbly apologize for the error.
We had attempted to explain why the county's median income level, third highest in the state, does not accurately reflect the real picture of life in Martin County, which also has double the nation's poverty rate.
We missed the mark on one critical point: “Median” income, the mid-point of incomes with half of them higher and half lower, is not calculated the same as “mean” income, which averages all incomes, therefore an exceptionally high, individual income, such as that of Tiger Woods', cannot skew median income levels.
Martin County as a whole has a high median income due to the high incomes found in certain geographical areas: Palm City's median household income is around $73,000; Sewall's Point is $107,000; and Jupiter Island is $199,000, far above the county's $52,000 overall.
The important point to remember is that the county's focus on quality of life for its residents must consider more than just the county's high median income and superb natural environment. It also must face the fact that 35 percent of the jobs offered here pay less than $20,000 annually, that 17 percent live in poverty, and that the purchase of a new home requires an income of $70,000, far beyond the means of most.
We need leaders who recognize that a good quality of life for all Martin County citizens requires more than protecting our environment and improving our waterways. As important as that focus is, we need them also to pay attention to what is happening in other facets of life here. We want them to understand that equally important as our environment are the people who live here.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; TownCharts.com; Federal Reserve Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research; Martin County Metropolitan Planning Organization; Florida International University Department of Economics; United Way of Martin County ALICE Report; Department of Urban Studies and Planning Massachusetts Institute of Technology.