According to new estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), personal income increased in 2,787 U.S. counties, decreased in 318, and remained the same in 8 in 2017. Personal income increased 4.5% in metropolitan areas, and only 3.2% in non-metro areas, ranging from 41.4% decrease in Slope County, North Dakota, to a 23.7% increase in Crosby County, Texas. Per capita personal income, which is found by dividing total personal income by population in a given area, is useful in comparing personal income levels across counties.
As defined by BEA, “personal income” is the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons from all sources. This includes traditional wage and salary income, income from home or business ownership, as well as income derived from financial assets, and government or business transfer receipts. Personal income also includes international income alongside income from domestic sources. These estimates were calculated based on midyear population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Dollar estimates are reported in 2017 dollars and are not adjusted for inflation.
Ziebach County had the lowest per capita personal income in 2017, with $20,764. Turner, Hand, and Grant Counties saw the largest decreases in personal income between 2016 and 2017, with a 13.2% drop in Turner County, a 10.4% decrease in Hand County, and an 8.4% loss in Grant County.
Neighboring North Dakota had a per capita personal income of 52,269 in 2017, which was down 0.7% from 2016. Other neighbors saw growth in per capita personal income, like Wyoming, which saw a 3.4% increase from 2016 to 2017 and a 2017 per capita personal income of $57,346, or Minnesota, which saw a 3.1% increase and a per capita personal income of $54,359 during the same time period.