The percentage of households earning less than $35,000 decreased by 4.4 percent, while households earning between $100,000 and $149,000 increased by 4.7 percent.
“A lot of it is people going back to work,” said Ben Stone, executive director of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board. “Unemployment is decreasing and expected to keep decreasing in coming months.”
The unemployment rate for Petaluma in August (the latest available figure) was 7.6 percent, compared to 8.2 percent countywide.
Asked about whether the increase in median incomes had anything to do with families being pushed out of Petaluma by rising rental and home prices, Stone said it was too hard to tell.
“Even if housing prices are going up, they are still cheaper than in Marin County,” he said.
Meanwhile, the city’s population has grown by 5.8 percent over the past decade to 58,870 last year. It’s expected to increase by another 1.6 percent by 2016.