Personal Income by County and Metropolitan Area, 2020
In 2020, personal income increased in 3,040 counties, decreased in 69, and was unchanged in 3, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Personal income increased 6.4 percent in the metropolitan portion of the United States and increased 7.6 percent in the nonmetropolitan portion (table A). In metropolitan counties, the percent change in personal income ranged from 24.6 percent in Power County, ID, to –8.9 percent in Lynn County, TX. In nonmetropolitan counties, it ranged from 57.3 percent in Clark County, SD, to –18.9 percent in Skagway Municipality, AK (BEA interactive data).
Personal current transfer receipts accounted for $1,102 billion of the $1,205 billion increase in personal income at the national level in 2020. The increase in transfer receipts reflected new government relief payments provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. Absent the increase in personal current transfer receipts, personal income would have increased in 2,006 counties, decreased in 1,038, and remained unchanged in 68. Personal income would have increased 0.6 percent in both the metropolitan portion and the nonmetropolitan portion of the United States.
The 2020 estimates of local area personal income were impacted by the response to the spread of COVID-19, as governments issued and lifted "stay-at-home" orders and government pandemic assistance payments were distributed to households and businesses. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the local area personal income estimates, because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified. For more information, see Federal Recovery Programs and BEA Statistics.
Per capita personal income. In the metropolitan portion of the United States, per capita personal income—personal income divided by population—increased 6.0 percent in 2020, up from 3.6 percent in 2019. In the nonmetropolitan portion of the United States, per capita personal income increased 7.7 percent, up from 3.6 percent. Table 1 presents estimates of per capita personal income by state and county.
The county personal income estimates released today provide more geographic detail on the nation's personal income for 2020. National estimates of personal income for 2020 were first released in February 2021, followed by preliminary state personal income estimates in March. The personal income estimates released today provide the first glimpse of personal income for 2020 in counties and metropolitan statistical areas. Real personal income for states, metropolitan areas, and state metropolitan and nonmetropolitan portions of the United States will be released on December 14, 2021.
The estimates for 2020 incorporate the results of BEA's annual update of county and metropolitan area personal income that was also released today. The annual estimates of county and metropolitan area personal income for 1998 to 2019 were revised. The update incorporates revised source data that are more complete and more detailed than previously available, the results of the July 2021 annual update of the National Income and Product Accounts, and the results of the September 2021 annual update of state personal income.
BEA county and metropolitan area per capita personal income statistics are calculated using U.S. Census Bureau midyear population estimates. These annual midyear estimates are based on the 2010 census. BEA will incorporate Census Bureau midyear population estimates based on the 2020 census results when they become available.
Next release: November 16, 2022, at 8:30 A.M. EST
Personal Income by County and Metropolitan Area, 2021