Personal Incomes Rise in All Metro Areas, Most Counties

View charts and maps with new personal income data for counties and metro areas.
by | November 26, 2012

Personal incomes swelled in every metropolitan area and nearly all U.S. counties last year, according to data released Monday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Across all 366 metro areas, personal income grew 5.2 percent on average, compared to a 3.9 percent increase in 2010. Inflation rose to 2.4 percent last year compared to 1.9 percent in 2010.

The bureau defines personal income as the sum of net earnings by place of residence, rental income, personal dividend income, interest income and current transfer receipts.

For metro areas, much of the gains stemmed from earnings, up 5.5 percent, and property income, which increased 7.6 percent. Growth of transfer receipts – including Social Security and unemployment insurance payments – slowed significantly to 1.5 percent, compared to 7.1 percent from the prior year.

Similarly, personal incomes rose in all but 51 counties.

Rural areas spanning the central United States reported the sharpest growth in personal income for the year. The bureau reported 45 of the 50 counties registering the largest percentage gains were located in the Great Plains region, boosted by increases in farm incomes.

Two neighboring Texas metro areas, Odessa and Midland, topped all others in percentage growth for the year. Personal income for Rochester, Minn., rose only 1 percent – ranking last of all metro areas.

The following map shows counties experiencing the most personal income per capita growth over the year, with the largest gains shaded in dark green. (Click to open the interactive map)

View personal incomes for all metro areas in the table below. Figures are listed in million dollars and not adjusted for inflation.  

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

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