Residents of the Pine Bluff, Ark., and Greenville, N.C., metro areas may be carrying around fatter wallets as the purchasing power of their incomes grew nearly 8 percent between 2011 and 2012. Most other metro areas also experienced smaller increases in real per capita personal income over the year, according to new data published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Regions of the country are all rebounding from the Great Recession at different rates. Some of the starkest illustrations of the uneven recovery become even more apparent when taking a closer look at the metro areas within these regions. 

For the first time, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently published an official measure estimating regional price-adjusted changes in purchasing power. BEA’s new real personal income data estimates purchasing power of personal income both across regions and over time.

For all regions, real personal income climbed an average of 2.3 percent in 2012.

The following table lists real per capita personal income estimates for metro areas with published data:

Metro Area 2011-12 % Change 2011 Real Personal Income Per Capita ($) 2012 Real Personal Income Per Capita ($
Pine Bluff, AR 7.9 33,794 36,455
Greenville, NC 7.8 35,601 38,381
Jackson, TN 7.6 39,737 42,744
Albany, GA 7.4 35,245 37,850
Danville, IL 7.3 37,776 40,538
Rocky Mount, NC 7.0 33,649 36,021
Odessa, TX 6.6 40,555 43,242
Grand Forks, ND-MN 6.4 42,216 44,907
Elkhart-Goshen, IN 6.4 34,611 36,813
Rome, GA 6.3 37,142 39,491
Goldsboro, NC 6.3 34,587 36,774
Parkersburg-Vienna, WV 6.2 34,598 36,757
Cleveland, TN 6.2 35,687 37,891
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL 5.9 35,236 37,331
Columbus, IN 5.8 44,603 47,209
Gadsden, AL 5.6 34,689 36,647
Joplin, MO 5.6 33,921 35,813
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 5.6 41,712 44,038
Jonesboro, AR 5.6 37,688 39,789
Wheeling, WV-OH 5.6 37,651 39,748
Terre Haute, IN 5.5 34,072 35,954
Alexandria, LA 5.3 38,479 40,522
Monroe, LA 5.3 36,653 38,587
Monroe, MI 5.1 35,846 37,687
Kokomo, IN 5.1 34,894 36,676
Victoria, TX 4.8 43,675 45,771
Lake Charles, LA 4.8 38,090 39,912
Midland, TX 4.8 76,841 80,504
Fort Smith, AR-OK 4.7 35,883 37,570
Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH 4.7 34,506 36,116
Hot Springs, AR 4.6 39,101 40,886
Dothan, AL 4.4 38,307 39,975
Muncie, IN 4.3 32,774 34,190
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH 4.3 36,778 38,362
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 4.3 39,786 41,499
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN 4.3 43,706 45,582
Tuscaloosa, AL 4.2 35,816 37,335
Trenton, NJ 4.2 45,513 47,404
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA 4.1 32,286 33,623
Macon, GA 4.1 38,211 39,781
Peoria, IL 4.1 46,253 48,151
Cumberland, MD-WV 4.0 35,605 37,035
Lafayette, LA 4.0 42,777 44,493
Florence, SC 3.9 36,775 38,211
Tulsa, OK 3.9 45,464 47,220
Kankakee, IL 3.8 32,283 33,512
Rockford, IL 3.8 36,191 37,555
Hattiesburg, MS 3.8 35,138 36,457
Jackson, MS 3.8 39,479 40,960
Decatur, AL 3.7 34,859 36,162
Evansville, IN-KY 3.7 40,930 42,446
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX 3.7 38,767 40,200
St. Joseph, MO-KS 3.7 37,470 38,855
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR 3.7 41,851 43,397
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL 3.7 35,473 36,782
Burlington, NC 3.7 33,504 34,732
Montgomery, AL 3.7 38,507 39,916
Longview, TX 3.5 41,864 43,332
Johnstown, PA 3.5 37,471 38,776
Columbus, GA-AL 3.4 40,404 41,793
Laredo, TX 3.4 26,949 27,871
Valdosta, GA 3.4 35,640 36,855
Sheboygan, WI 3.4 45,123 46,656
Corpus Christi, TX 3.4 40,427 41,797
Pueblo, CO 3.4 33,009 34,123
Ocala, FL 3.4 35,498 36,694
Winston-Salem, NC 3.4 37,999 39,277
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 3.4 43,583 45,047
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC 3.3 33,262 34,375
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 3.3 41,380 42,751
Owensboro, KY 3.3 38,802 40,086
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX 3.3 25,814 26,661
Sumter, SC 3.3 34,066 35,180
Decatur, IL 3.2 43,356 44,757
Janesville-Beloit, WI 3.2 35,533 36,673
Flint, MI 3.2 31,789 32,804
Michigan City-La Porte, IN 3.1 36,388 37,534
St. Louis, MO-IL 3.1 46,158 47,610
Cape Girardeau, MO-IL 3.1 39,532 40,758
Abilene, TX 3.1 38,202 39,378
Akron, OH 3.1 43,726 45,068
New Haven-Milford, CT 3.1 41,385 42,652
Battle Creek, MI 3.0 36,238 37,337
Springfield, OH 3.0 37,670 38,812
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA 3.0 33,542 34,554
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN 3.0 41,529 42,767
Mobile, AL 3.0 34,242 35,256
Muskegon, MI 3.0 32,801 33,772
Salisbury, MD-DE 2.9 39,405 40,558
Charleston, WV 2.9 43,453 44,721
Baton Rouge, LA 2.9 39,832 40,983
Fort Wayne, IN 2.9 37,693 38,782
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO 2.9 36,758 37,815
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 2.9 46,712 48,053
Springfield, MO 2.8 35,123 36,121
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI 2.8 38,458 39,549
Fargo, ND-MN 2.8 45,761 47,059
Napa, CA 2.8 42,696 43,898
Bismarck, ND 2.8 45,427 46,704
Oklahoma City, OK 2.8 43,349 44,543
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA 2.7 37,155 38,173
Fond du Lac, WI 2.7 42,475 43,637
Canton-Massillon, OH 2.7 38,358 39,407
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 2.7 39,907 40,995
Columbia, MO 2.7 39,624 40,701
Sherman-Denison, TX 2.7 34,987 35,936
Columbia, SC 2.7 37,394 38,406
Dayton, OH 2.7 40,513 41,596
New Bern, NC 2.7 41,818 42,932
Ames, IA 2.6 46,467 47,697
Chattanooga, TN-GA 2.6 38,054 39,051
Saginaw, MI 2.6 34,214 35,105
Houma-Thibodaux, LA 2.6 43,569 44,699
Columbus, OH 2.6 42,119 43,208
Greensboro-High Point, NC 2.6 37,510 38,479
Bakersfield, CA 2.5 32,766 33,597
Morgantown, WV 2.5 38,630 39,607
Topeka, KS 2.5 41,426 42,467
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 2.5 24,399 25,008
Dover, DE 2.5 35,580 36,468
Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ 2.5 32,225 33,021
College Station-Bryan, TX 2.5 31,219 31,990
Lubbock, TX 2.4 35,630 36,502
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL 2.4 35,269 36,116
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 2.4 37,107 37,985
Eau Claire, WI 2.4 39,330 40,255
Kansas City, MO-KS 2.3 44,755 45,802
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA 2.3 39,389 40,306
Ocean City, NJ 2.3 44,574 45,607
Brunswick, GA 2.3 37,139 37,996
Bay City, MI 2.3 36,285 37,119
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 2.3 42,305 43,272
Lynchburg, VA 2.3 36,072 36,896
Appleton, WI 2.3 41,548 42,491
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 2.3 41,966 42,918
Knoxville, TN 2.2 38,361 39,211
Waco, TX 2.2 35,115 35,882
Pittsburgh, PA 2.2 47,586 48,612
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 2.1 46,048 47,031
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI 2.1 37,496 38,293
Auburn-Opelika, AL 2.1 32,307 32,992
Charlottesville, VA 2.1 43,745 44,671
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 2.1 46,646 47,631
Roanoke, VA 2.1 41,506 42,382
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 2.1 39,869 40,706
Mankato-North Mankato, MN 2.1 42,156 43,041
Ann Arbor, MI 2.1 39,320 40,130
Syracuse, NY 2.1 40,494 41,327
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA 2.1 37,954 38,734
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 2.0 45,915 46,843
Springfield, MA 2.0 40,633 41,446
Spartanburg, SC 2.0 34,488 35,172
Asheville, NC 2.0 36,548 37,272
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 2.0 39,860 40,647
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA 2.0 36,914 37,638
Gainesville, FL 2.0 36,766 37,486
Wichita, KS 1.9 41,983 42,793
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL 1.9 33,793 34,439
Morristown, TN 1.9 34,896 35,558
Rochester, MN 1.9 45,417 46,278
Madera, CA 1.9 30,124 30,692
Athens-Clarke County, GA 1.9 33,537 34,168
Dubuque, IA 1.9 40,489 41,240
Barnstable Town, MA 1.8 54,998 55,995
Lima, OH 1.8 34,589 35,215
Raleigh, NC 1.8 41,824 42,580
Utica-Rome, NY 1.8 38,024 38,710
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ 1.8 39,979 40,699
Johnson City, TN 1.8 36,513 37,156
Williamsport, PA 1.7 38,401 39,070
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 1.7 42,417 43,155
Cedar Rapids, IA 1.7 45,112 45,895
Jefferson City, MO 1.7 42,207 42,928
Jacksonville, FL 1.7 40,610 41,301
Tyler, TX 1.7 40,765 41,458
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 1.7 42,606 43,327
Grand Junction, CO 1.7 35,049 35,640
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 1.7 38,379 39,024
Provo-Orem, UT 1.7 26,570 27,016
Toledo, OH 1.7 39,186 39,843
The Villages, FL 1.7 36,453 37,064
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 1.7 50,177 51,017
Albany, OR 1.7 30,862 31,375
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC 1.6 36,676 37,278
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 1.6 51,279 52,105
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 1.6 42,304 42,984
Ogden-Clearfield, UT 1.6 34,886 35,437
Dalton, GA 1.6 31,368 31,861
Bloomington, IN 1.6 32,857 33,372
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 1.5 50,322 51,095
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA 1.5 46,227 46,925
Homosassa Springs, FL 1.5 35,638 36,166
Burlington-South Burlington, VT 1.5 43,241 43,876
Texarkana, TX-AR 1.4 36,546 37,062
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA 1.4 42,234 42,824
Lawrence, KS 1.4 35,610 36,103
Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ 1.4 27,170 27,546
Glens Falls, NY 1.4 38,381 38,911
Mansfield, OH 1.4 34,199 34,669
Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA 1.4 36,534 37,031
New Orleans-Metairie, LA 1.3 42,533 43,106
Wichita Falls, TX 1.3 41,536 42,092
Modesto, CA 1.3 32,274 32,704
Salt Lake City, UT 1.3 38,197 38,705
Lexington-Fayette, KY 1.3 40,574 41,112
Wausau, WI 1.3 39,911 40,439
Duluth, MN-WI 1.3 38,990 39,502
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 1.3 46,685 47,290
Gettysburg, PA 1.3 34,912 35,357
Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN 1.3 33,746 34,175
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 1.3 40,200 40,706
Bowling Green, KY 1.2 35,446 35,888
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 1.2 62,559 63,336
Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL 1.2 53,959 54,625
Winchester, VA-WV 1.2 37,714 38,176
St. Cloud, MN 1.2 38,075 38,540
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA 1.2 43,199 43,726
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 1.2 34,844 35,267
Rochester, NY 1.2 42,022 42,527
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC 1.2 31,832 32,212
Kingston, NY 1.2 39,235 39,693
Port St. Lucie, FL 1.2 38,283 38,726
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN 1.1 40,878 41,347
Longview, WA 1.1 34,756 35,153
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ 1.1 36,440 36,851
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 1.1 34,663 35,053
Richmond, VA 1.1 43,997 44,491
Fayetteville, NC 1.1 45,054 45,555
Greeley, CO 1.1 30,430 30,765
Niles-Benton Harbor, MI 1.1 39,345 39,778
Grants Pass, OR 1.1 31,413 31,756
Racine, WI 1.1 40,702 41,146
Billings, MT 1.1 40,840 41,284
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 1.1 41,878 42,332
Harrisonburg, VA 1.1 33,640 34,003
Coeur d'Alene, ID 1.1 34,837 35,205
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI 1.0 31,534 31,859
Champaign-Urbana, IL 1.0 39,110 39,495
Pittsfield, MA 1.0 45,652 46,097
Huntsville, AL 1.0 42,827 43,243
Warner Robins, GA 1.0 36,841 37,194
Jackson, MI 0.9 33,787 34,100
Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA 0.9 36,036 36,369
Medford, OR 0.9 34,818 35,135
East Stroudsburg, PA 0.9 31,786 32,075
Springfield, IL 0.9 42,366 42,740
Austin-Round Rock, TX 0.9 40,978 41,339
Reading, PA 0.9 39,311 39,654
Lincoln, NE 0.9 42,115 42,482
Tallahassee, FL 0.9 36,973 37,294
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA 0.9 38,569 38,897
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 0.8 43,328 43,687
Carson City, NV 0.8 40,585 40,909
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 0.8 39,128 39,436
Carbondale-Marion, IL 0.8 40,021 40,332
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 0.8 42,779 43,104
Charleston-North Charleston, SC 0.8 38,799 39,090
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 0.7 46,424 46,771
Worcester, MA-CT 0.7 41,886 42,199
Elmira, NY 0.7 38,042 38,319
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI 0.7 41,319 41,619
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 0.7 45,398 45,724
Green Bay, WI 0.7 42,576 42,877
San Angelo, TX 0.7 40,645 40,931
Redding, CA 0.7 35,931 36,180
Manchester-Nashua, NH 0.7 43,948 44,249
Tucson, AZ 0.7 35,304 35,545
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA 0.7 40,130 40,397
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS 0.7 36,874 37,115
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI 0.6 37,548 37,783
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA 0.6 41,115 41,371
Logan, UT-ID 0.6 30,358 30,545
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 0.6 37,461 37,690
Eugene, OR 0.6 34,681 34,891
Grand Island, NE 0.6 46,110 46,387
El Paso, TX 0.6 31,356 31,544
Norwich-New London, CT 0.6 46,061 46,335
Portland-South Portland, ME 0.6 42,806 43,059
Beckley, WV 0.6 38,905 39,130
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA 0.6 36,311 36,517
Amarillo, TX 0.6 38,975 39,190
Altoona, PA 0.5 37,759 37,964
Iowa City, IA 0.5 44,520 44,757
Casper, WY 0.5 55,543 55,828
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 0.5 45,147 45,364
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 0.5 51,120 51,362
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 0.4 44,031 44,226
Fresno, CA 0.4 32,977 33,118
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC 0.4 41,995 42,161
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 0.4 36,016 36,155
Stockton-Lodi, CA 0.4 31,047 31,163
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV 0.4 33,343 33,467
Yakima, WA 0.4 34,582 34,707
Bloomington, IL 0.4 43,422 43,578
Erie, PA 0.3 37,288 37,403
Salem, OR 0.3 33,940 34,041
Farmington, NM 0.3 33,789 33,889
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 0.3 45,065 45,196
Yuba City, CA 0.3 33,460 33,553
Cheyenne, WY 0.3 49,868 50,004
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 0.2 46,226 46,337
Santa Fe, NM 0.2 42,072 42,172
Idaho Falls, ID 0.2 36,658 36,745
Corvallis, OR 0.2 38,773 38,864
Bellingham, WA 0.2 37,307 37,391
Savannah, GA 0.2 40,591 40,676
York-Hanover, PA 0.1 39,502 39,549
Sebring, FL 0.1 32,841 32,879
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA 0.1 41,908 41,956
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL 0.1 42,141 42,184
Santa Rosa, CA 0.1 38,397 38,433
Reno, NV 0.0 41,312 41,329
Great Falls, MT 0.0 41,084 41,094
Lewiston, ID-WA 0.0 38,369 38,376
Madison, WI 0.0 46,566 46,570
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 0.0 44,842 44,841
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL 0.0 57,920 57,911
Lebanon, PA 0.0 41,275 41,267
Prescott, AZ -0.1 31,166 31,145
Olympia-Tumwater, WA -0.1 39,940 39,907
Boulder, CO -0.1 46,875 46,836
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL -0.1 47,772 47,727
Missoula, MT -0.1 36,022 35,986
Lansing-East Lansing, MI -0.1 35,671 35,633
Pocatello, ID -0.1 31,485 31,440
Punta Gorda, FL -0.2 36,868 36,798
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL -0.2 39,482 39,404
Fort Collins, CO -0.2 39,183 39,100
Bangor, ME -0.2 35,150 35,066
Chico, CA -0.2 33,884 33,802
Boise City, ID -0.3 35,524 35,435
Binghamton, NY -0.3 38,175 38,079
Wilmington, NC -0.3 36,979 36,885
Hammond, LA -0.3 34,994 34,897
Albuquerque, NM -0.3 35,749 35,647
Panama City, FL -0.3 36,826 36,700
Merced, CA -0.3 30,461 30,355
Anchorage, AK -0.4 44,979 44,811
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL -0.4 40,116 39,963
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI -0.4 46,475 46,296
St. George, UT -0.4 28,629 28,518
Colorado Springs, CO -0.4 39,601 39,431
Las Cruces, NM -0.5 31,814 31,663
El Centro, CA -0.5 31,960 31,795
Bend-Redmond, OR -0.6 37,968 37,754
Ithaca, NY -0.6 35,541 35,334
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA -0.6 28,643 28,472
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA -0.7 40,724 40,435
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA -0.7 41,288 40,992
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA -0.7 39,097 38,806
Urban Honolulu, HI -0.8 37,764 37,468
Lewiston-Auburn, ME -0.8 37,249 36,956
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA -0.8 37,491 37,192
Lancaster, PA -0.8 38,913 38,600
Killeen-Temple, TX -0.8 40,857 40,514
Midland, MI -0.9 50,049 49,615
Lawton, OK -0.9 38,716 38,380
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL -0.9 41,470 41,103
California-Lexington Park, MD -0.9 44,579 44,170
Yuma, AZ -1.0 27,712 27,447
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY -1.0 43,110 42,660
Gainesville, GA -1.1 34,724 34,338
Rapid City, SD -1.1 44,339 43,832
Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ -1.2 37,370 36,922
Salinas, CA -1.3 38,613 38,111
Visalia-Porterville, CA -1.4 31,531 31,081
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA -1.5 40,246 39,657
Walla Walla, WA -1.5 37,951 37,390
Flagstaff, AZ -1.6 34,095 33,566
Wenatchee, WA -1.6 37,137 36,526
Hanford-Corcoran, CA -1.9 32,238 31,626
Sioux Falls, SD -2.0 48,880 47,897
Fairbanks, AK -2.1 41,207 40,354
Hinesville, GA -2.2 29,851 29,200
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV -2.3 49,804 48,645
Clarksville, TN-KY -2.5 41,690 40,627
State College, PA -2.6 38,991 37,962
Jacksonville, NC -2.9 46,766 45,422
Manhattan, KS -4.0 45,659 43,852
Watertown-Fort Drum, NY -4.2 45,844 43,907
Kennewick-Richland, WA -5.4 38,318 36,255

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis One of the key components differentiating BEA’s estimates from other measures is that it takes into account regional price parities, using data for various spending categories (rent, food, etc.) compiled from multiple federal surveys. Personal income is adjusted by price levels for consumer goods and services within each metro area.

Metro areas recording the highest 2012 regional price parities, shown as a percentage of the national price index, were Honolulu (122.9), New York-Newark-Jersey City (122.2) and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara (122.0). 

Comparing BEA data a few more years back illustrates the extent to which metro areas recovered from the depths of the recession. The map below shows percentage changes in real per capita personal income growth between 2012 and 2009 – the year unemployment peaked. Metro areas recording the largest gain in purchasing power are shaded in dark green. (Click to open interactive map in new window)

As these income maps always seem to show, oil-rich areas of Texas and North Dakota fared quite well. Meanwhile, regions hit hard by the bursting of the housing bubble were still losing purchasing power over the three-year period. It’s also important to note that metro area economies incur different cycles. Washington, D.C., and much of the Great Plains, for example, weathered the recession well, so they didn't have as much income loss to recover as other areas.