Home > News Release: Local Area Personal Income: 2016
EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE: 8:30 A.M. EST, Thursday, November 16, 2017
BEA 17—60

Local Area Personal Income: 2016

Personal income grew in 2016 in 2,285 counties, fell in 795, and was unchanged in 33, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. On average, personal income rose 2.5 percent in 2016 in the metropolitan portion of the United States and rose 1.0 percent in the nonmetropolitan portion. Personal income growth in 2016 ranged from -40.8 percent in Kenedy County, Texas to 27.1 percent in Tillman County, Oklahoma.

Map of US

Personal income is the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons from all sources: from participation as laborers in production, from owning a home or unincorporated business, from the ownership of financial assets, and from government and business in the form of transfer receipts. It includes income from domestic sources as well as from the rest of the world.

Personal income is the income that is available to persons for consumption expenditures, taxes, interest payments, transfer payments to governments and the rest of the world, or for saving. Personal income for 2016 ranged from $4.4 million in Loving County, Texas to $563.9 billion in Los Angeles County, California.

Per capita personal income–personal income divided by population–is a useful metric for making comparisons of the level of personal income across counties. Table 1 presents estimates of per capita personal income by state and county. In 2016, it ranged from $16,267 in Wheeler County, Georgia to $199,635 in Teton County, Wyoming.

The county personal income estimates released today continue the successively more detailed series of data releases from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) depicting the geographic distribution of the nationís personal income for 2016. National estimates of personal income for 2016 were released in January 2017, followed by preliminary state personal income estimates in March. The county personal income estimates also incorporate the results of the annual updates of the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) and state personal income accounts, which were released in July and September 2017, respectively. The personal income estimates released today provide the first glimpse of personal income for 2016 in counties and metropolitan statistical areas. The geographic picture will be completed with the release of real personal income for states and metropolitan areas in May 2018.

The entire historical time series for the Local Area Personal Income estimates discussed in this release can be accessed in BEA's Interactive Data Application.

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Next release: May 17, 2018 at 8:30 A.M. EDT – Real Personal Income for States and Metropolitan Areas, 2016

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Definitions

Personal income is the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons from all sources: from participation as laborers in production, from owning a home or business, from the ownership of financial assets, and from government and business in the form of transfers. It includes income from domestic sources as well as the rest of world. It does not include realized or unrealized capital gains or losses.

Per capita personal income is calculated as the total personal income of the residents of a given area divided by the population of the area. In computing per capita personal income, BEA uses Census Bureau mid-year population estimates.

Personal income is measured before the deduction of personal income taxes and other personal taxes and is reported in current dollars (no adjustment is made for price changes).

The estimate of personal income for the United States is the sum of the state estimates and the estimate for the District of Columbia; it differs slightly from the estimate of personal income in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) because of differences in coverage, in the methodologies used to prepare the estimates, and in the timing of the availability of source data.

Uses of the Local Area Personal Income Statistics

Local area personal income statistics provide a framework for analyzing current economic conditions in local economies and can serve as a basis for decision making. For example, they can be used:

  • in economic models to project tax revenues and the demand for public utilities and services,
  • to determine areas for locating, expanding, and closing businesses,
  • to analyze the economic impact of disasters, and
  • to determine whether an area has sufficient income to undertake and support specific projects and activities to encourage economic development.

List of News Release Tables

Table 1. Per Capita Personal Income by County, 2014 - 2016