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UW-Milwaukee - Center for Economic Development

Policy Research Report Abstract

Income Change in Milwaukee's Inner City, 2004-2005, November, 2006, by Marc Levine

In May 2006, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Economic Development (UWMCED) released a comprehensive report on economic conditions in Milwaukee's inner city. Among the report's chief findings was that the income of residents in inner city neighborhoods, adjusted for inflation, declined by 2.8 percent between 1990 and 2004, and by a whopping 8.6 percent in neighborhoods on the city's increasingly troubled Northwest Side during that period. Moreover, the income levels in inner city neighborhoods fell further and further behind the rest of the Milwaukee region between 1990-2004. By 2004, for example, inner city income per taxpayer was only 41.0% that of income in the exurban "WOW" counties (Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington), and less than half the income level in the Milwaukee County suburbs. The report offered an extensive critique of current inner city policy in Milwaukee, and offered policy recommendations.

This brief research update examines the most recent income trends in Milwaukee's inner city and selected other jurisdictions, using a special run of the most recent data prepared especially for the UWMCED by the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue. The author of this report is Dr. Marc V. Levine, Professor of History and Urban Studies, and Director of the UWMCED. Lisa Heuler Williams, a policy analyst at the Center, provided indispensable research assistance.

UWMCED is a unit of the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The College established UWMCED in 1990, to provide university research and technical assistance to community organizations and units of government working to improve the Greater Milwaukee economy. The analysis and conclusions presented in this report are solely those of UWMCED and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of UW-Milwaukee, or any of the organizations providing financial support to the Center.

The UWMCED strongly believes that informed public debate is vital to the development of good public policy. The Center publishes briefing papers, detailed analyses of economic trends and policies, and "technical assistance" reports on issues of applied economic development. In these ways, as well as in conferences and public lectures sponsored by the Center, we hope to contribute to public discussion on economic development policy in Southeastern Wisconsin.

The complete report (309k) is available in Adobe's Acrobat format. Acrobat Reader is required to view the file. Use Adobe's web site to download a free copy of Acrobat Reader.

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