News Release

EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EST, Friday, December 17, 2021
BEA 21—65

Personal Income by State, 3rd Quarter 2021

State personal income increased 2.6 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter of 2021 after decreasing 20.2 percent in the second quarter, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) (table 1). The percent change in personal income across all states ranged from 6.7 percent in Kentucky to –4.3 percent in North Dakota.

Personal Income: Percent Change at Annual Rate, 2021:Q2-2021:Q3

In the third quarter of 2021, increases in earnings and property income (dividends, interest, and rent) more than offset a decrease in transfer receipts (chart 1).

Chart 1. Change in Personal Income and Select Components | United States, 2021:Q2-2021:Q3 (Billions of dollars)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on Third-Quarter 2021 State Personal Income Estimates

The 2021 third-quarter estimates of state personal income reflect the continued economic impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Government pandemic assistance payments to households and business decreased. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the state 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.

Earnings. For the nation, earnings increased 9.3 percent in the third quarter of 2021 after increasing 14.4 percent in the second quarter (table 2). The increase in earnings reflected the continued economic recovery following the partial economic shutdown that began in the first quarter of 2020 after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • In Kentucky, the state with the largest increase in personal income, increases in earnings in healthcare and social assistance; and transportation and warehousing were the leading contributors to the increase in personal income in the third quarter (table 3).
  • In Colorado, the state with the second largest increase in personal income, increases in earnings in professional, scientific, and technical services; and mining were the leading contributors to the increase in personal income in the third quarter.

Earnings increased in 21 of the 24 industries for which BEA prepares quarterly estimates (table 4). Professional, scientific, and technical services; accommodation and food services; and state and local government were the leading contributors to the overall growth in earnings. The percent change in earnings across all states ranged from 15.8 percent in Hawaii to –1.6 percent in North Dakota (table 2).

Property income. Property income increased 3.3 percent for the nation in the third quarter of 2021 after increasing 3.7 percent in the second quarter. The percent change in property income across all states ranged from 4.9 percent in Oregon to 1.6 percent in Connecticut (table 2).

Transfer receipts. Transfer receipts decreased 15.6 percent for the nation in the third quarter of 2021 after decreasing 72.6 percent in the second quarter. The decrease in transfer receipts was due to decreases in state unemployment insurance compensation and all other transfer receipts. The decrease in state unemployment compensation was due in part to the expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Payments (PUCP) benefits, and to an improved labor market. The decrease in all other transfers was due mostly to lower Economic Impact Payments in the third quarter. The percent change in transfer receipts across all states ranged from 4.1 percent in Kentucky to –25.4 percent in Massachusetts (table 2).

  • In North Dakota, the state with the largest decrease in personal income, decreases in transfer receipts and farm earnings were the leading contributors to the decrease in personal income in the third quarter.
  • In New Hampshire, the state with the second largest decrease in personal income, decreases in transfer receipts and in management of companies' earnings were the leading contributors to the decrease in personal income in the third quarter.
Updates to State Personal Income

Today, BEA also released revised quarterly estimates of personal income for the first quarter of 2021 through the second quarter of 2021. Updates were made to incorporate source data that are more complete and more detailed than previously available and to align the states with revised national estimates that were released on November 24, 2021.

BEA state per capita personal income statistics are calculated using Census Bureau midyear population estimates. These annual midyear estimates are based on the 2010 census and do not incorporate the results of the 2020 census. BEA will incorporate Census Bureau midyear population estimates based on the 2020 census results when they become available.

Next release: March 23, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. EDT
Personal Income by State, 4th Quarter 2021 and Year 2021 (Preliminary)