2011 State Per Capita Income Levels and Growth Rates — That Light at the End of This Tunnel is Not Another Train

If an economic recovery was predicated on rising per capita personal income levels, then you would pronounce the recession over and good news ahead.  The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has recently released 2011 per capita income by state and reported that all 50 states and the District of Columbia had an increase in per capita income from 2010 to 2011 with a national average increase of 4.3 percent—and that is good news.  The first table shows alphabetically the income data from 2010 to 2011.

Given that inflation from 2010 to 2011 increased by 3.14 percent (based on the average CPI monthly for all goods and services in 2010 versus 2011) then the U.S. finally posted a year-over-year gain in real per capita personal income.

Not surprisingly, the Northeast dominated states with the greatest per capita personal income levels.  The following table is the same data as the previously shown, but sorted from largest to smallest 2011 per capita personal income levels.  While the District of Columbia is not included in the state rankings, it has the greatest per capita personal income level that is 75.4 percent greater than the national average, and 28.5 percent more than Connecticut—the state with the most per capita income in the country in 2011.  Per capita personal income in the District of Columbia was more than double that of 15 states (from Michigan to Mississippi in the table following).


Growth rates in income, however, were not necessarily in the higher-income states.  The largest increase in per capita income was North Dakota (oil and gas boom driven), followed by Iowa (and when the subsidies are lifted from ethanol production in the near future as I predict, Iowa will be one of the states with the largest declines), and even Michigan in the fifth place (a recovering U.S. auto industry).

Laggards in per capita income growth include Alaska (at 2.9 percent increase from 2010 to 2011 failed to keep up with inflation), and Nevada, North Carolina and Maine all at 3.3 percent.


Click here to view the complete news release, summaries and numerous tables as reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

The green shoots keep sprouting this Spring—and that is good news.


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