Riverfront Park Master Plan 2014 acknowledges low wage/poverty problem

Link to Spokane’s Riverfront Park Master Plan (PDF file). Most of the development ideas are pretty cool, and the park is in need of an upgrade.  The long term neglect is an indicator that reminds us of the poor economic situation. From the Master Plan itself:

“While the city of Spokane is the second largest metropolitan region in the State, it has some of the highest rates of poverty. Spokane’s median household income is just 70% of the statewide figure.”

More on that topic:

The following is quoted from those linked pages.

As you can see in the following chart, while Spokane (red line) wages have increased, average wages in the state (blue line) have increased faster. Over several decades, wages in the State have increased at twice the rate of wages in Spokane. Stated another way, the longer we stay in Spokane the further behind we fall.


Average wages are about 80% of the rest of the State, yet our costs of living are closer to 100%. We have to spend close to the national average to live here (somethings, like health care, are priced higher than the national average).

[Update: The Riverfront Park Master Plan says that median wages have fallen to the 70% level. The chart above uses average wages, not median, but chances are good that the average wage has fallen further, as this has been a 30 year trend.]

Source: Spokane Poverty Rates

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