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 September 20th 2016 - Written by: Jeff Mitchell

Income Gains in New Mexico Lag the Nation

On September 16, the Census Bureau released results of its most recent Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). The report received a great deal of attention[1] as it included evidence that real median household incomes increased 5.2% between 2014 and 2015. This was the first annual increase since 2007 and clearest evidence that the economic recovery has begun to benefit more than those at that the top of the income pyramid. How did New Mexico do? In New Mexico, median household income grew by 1.2%, from $44,837 to $45,382. Although an improvement in its own right, the state’s position relative to the rest of the country slipped. In 2014, median household income in the state was 83.5% of the national median, ranking 43rd of the 50 states. In 2015, incomes were 81.4% of the national median, 45th among all states. Poverty data followed a similar pattern…. View Full Post

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 March 14th 2016 - Written by: Gwen Aldrich

The value of metro nature

A paper published last year by Wolf et al.[1] attempts to quantify the economic value associated with various psychosocial, cognitive, and physical health and well-being benefits derived from US metro nature areas. Metro nature is a broadly-defined term that includes open spaces, riparian areas, parks, community gardens, streetscapes, green rooftops, and other such areas. The authors focus on 6 out of 15 such benefits documented in the peer-reviewed literature – birth weight, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), secondary school performance, crime, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease – and estimate that the annual economic value (in the form of lower and avoided costs and higher income) associated with these six health and well-being benefits totals between $2.7 and $6.8 billion (2012 $). The health and well-being benefits are most often associated with direct and active human interaction with metro nature. As an example, interactions with nature and green areas have been… View Full Post

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