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Components of personal income

Personal Income is the income that is received by all persons from all sources. It is calculated as the sum of wages and salaries, supplements to wages and salaries, proprietors' income with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments, rental income of persons with capital consumption adjustment, personal dividend income, personal interest income, and personal current transfer receipts, less contributions for government social insurance.

The personal income of an area is the income that is received by, or on behalf of, all the individuals who live in the area; therefore, the estimates of personal income are presented by the place of residence of the income recipients.

What makes up BEA's personal income estimates, and where does this data originate from?

  • Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), data series from the administration of the state unemployment insurance system reported by each state. The data, which are provided to BEA by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, include quarterly wages and salaries and monthly employment by county and industry. This makes up 95% of wages, and wages is more than 50% of personal income.
  • Internal Revenue Service data from the Federal income tax program
  • U.S. Department of Defense data
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture data
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration
  • Federal agencies and state sources for transfer receipts

Personal income estimates are in thousands of dollars, except in quarterly estimates, Table SQ5, where personal income is in millions of dollars, seasonally adjusted.

For monthly personal income estimates please see http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/pinewsrelease.htm.

NOTE: Monthly personal income estimates referenced above point to National Income and Product Accounts estimates, which differ from Regional measurements because of differences in coverage, in the methodologies used to prepare the estimates, and in the timing of the availability of source data. Regional estimates omit the earnings of Federal civilian and military personnel stationed abroad and of U.S. residents employed abroad temporarily by private U.S. firms.