by Dr. Roy Cordato
Senior Economist, Emeritas
Saturday’s headline over at Channel 8 in Greensboro read “Here are the three wealthiest zip codes in North Carolina”. And the first sentence of the article reads “Credit services company Experian has recently released a map showing the three wealthiest zip codes in each state. And Greensboro is on the list for North Carolina.”
From that point on the article doesn’t talk about wealth at all, but income. The very next two sentences are as follows, “In the Tar Heel state, 27626 in Raleigh took the No. 1 spot. It’s followed by 28281 in Charlotte at No. 2 and 27420 in Greensboro at No. 3. The Raleigh listing had the highest average reported income per return in the state, at $262,400. The one in Charlotte was $245,500 and the one in Greensboro was $226,981.”
Word to “Experian” the company that published this report and to the Channel 8 “web staff” that wrote this article: wealth is not income. Wealth is the value of assets that you own–stocks, bonds, property, your house, maybe antiques and paintings, etc. Income is what comes in your paycheck every month. A person can be not at all wealthy and have a high income or be very wealthy and have a low income. The fact is that this this report says absolutely nothing about which zip codes are the wealthiest. Come on folks, this is pretty basic stuff. If you’re going to report on this, and especially if you’re going to publish a study on it, you should have some sense of the language.