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Study: Families Need At Least $67,000 to 'Get By' in Austin

A family of four needs to bring in around $67,000 a year to get by modestly in the Austin area.

That’s according to the recently-updated budget calculator put together by the Economic Policy Institute. The calculator takes into consideration things like housing, food, childcare and transportation.

“It does sound certainly in the ballpark," says Ryan Robinson, the City of Austin demographer. "What I think is, obviously, most fascinating about that is that it happens to be right where the median family income is for the City of Austin.”

That number’s a bit higher for the metropolitan area. Robinson used data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and found for the five county area, the median family income is closer to $75,000 year, which doesn’t surprise him.

“The centroid of affluent wealth in the metropolitan area is very much outside the city of Austin” says Robinson. “That’s going to prop up the median family income, not to mention that the City of Austin continues to have the greatest concentrations of really impoverished households”.

However, even at $67,000 the median family income for the city remains relatively high. “When ranked against the 30 largest cities in the country, the city’s income is in the top third of the list,” Robinson adds.

The EPI’s budget calculator places Austin’s required income just above the national median of $63,000. 

Hector was born in Bogotá, Colombia and is in his Junior year of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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