In Alabama’s fastest-growing county, household income has increased dramatically over the last decade, driven by an increase in well-paying jobs and demographic changes. The shift is part of Baldwin County’s transformation from a largely rural area to a suburban one.
From 2010 to 2021, median household income in Baldwin County increased from $47,618 to $65,658, according to U.S Census Bureau data analyzed by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. That’s a 37.9% increase over the decade, compared with an 18.7% growth spurt over the same time period nationally. During that same period, the population of Baldwin County has grown from 183,121 in 2010 to 239,294 in 2021, a 30.7% increase.
In Mobile County, median income has increased, though not quite so dramatically. In 2010, median household income was $39,753, and in 2021 the median income was $49,848, a 25.4% increase.
Reid Cummings, a professor of economics at the University of South Alabama, argues that the increase in high-paying manufacturing jobs in Mobile and Baldwin counties has driven up the median income in the region. The jobs at places like Austal and Airbus are well-paid, giving workers more options.
In addition, Cummings also said that the influx of out-of-state families to Baldwin County, particularly following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, increases the median income in the county too. These new families are often working remotely, earning salaries that are higher than the average Alabama salary.