Home > State Personal Income: First Quarter 2016
EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, Wednesday, June 22, 2016
BEA 16—30

State Personal Income: First Quarter 2016

State personal income grew 1.0 percent on average in the first quarter of 2016, the same pace as in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income grew in every state except Wyoming and North Dakota with first-quarter personal income growth rates ranging from -1.3 percent in North Dakota to 1.5 percent in Washington (table 1).

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Earnings. Overall, earnings increased 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2016 (table 5) and was the leading contributor to growth in personal income in most states.

  • Earnings in Washington grew 2.1 percent, faster than in any other state, largely due to stock grants in the information sector.
  • Growth in health care earnings was the leading contributor to above average earnings growth in Oregon.
  • Growth in farm earnings was the leading contributor to above average earnings growth in Arkansas.
  • Growth in durable manufacturing earnings was the leading contributor to above average earnings growth in Michigan due in part to profit sharing payments by motor vehicle manufacturers.
  • Growth in construction earnings was the leading contributor to above average earnings growth in Utah.
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For the nation, earnings grew in 22 of the 24 industries for which BEA prepares quarterly estimates. Health care, construction, and professional services were the leading contributors to overall growth in personal income (table 3).

Farm earnings declined 3.5 percent in the first quarter (table 5), after falling 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. The decline in farm earnings was the leading contributor to below average income growth in five states in the Plains region—Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Mining earnings declined 4.4 percent in the first quarter of 2016, the fifth consecutive quarterly decline, and was a major contributor to declining incomes in Wyoming and North Dakota. Since peaking in the fourth quarter of 2014, mining earnings have declined 15.8 percent nationally, 21.8 percent in Wyoming and 44.7 percent in North Dakota.

Revisions. Today, BEA also released revised quarterly personal income estimates for 2015:I to 2015:IV. Revisions 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.

Upcoming Annual Revision of the State Personal Income Accounts. The annual revision of the state personal income accounts will be released along with estimates for the second quarter of 2016 on September 28. In addition to the regular revision of the estimates for the most recent 3 years and for the first quarter of 2016, some series will be revised back further. The July Survey of Current Business will contain an article that previews the annual revision, and the October Survey will contain an article that describes the results.

Next quarterly state personal income release – September 28, 2016, at 8:30 A.M. for second quarter 2016.


Personal income is the income received by all persons from all sources. Personal income is the sum of net earnings by place of residence, property income, and personal current transfer receipts.

Per capita personal income is calculated as the total personal income of the residents of a state divided by the population of the state. In computing per capita personal income, BEA uses mid-quarter population estimates based on unpublished Census Bureau data.

Net earnings by place of residence is earnings by place of work (the sum of wages and salaries, supplements to wages and salaries, and proprietorsí income) less contributions for government social insurance, plus an adjustment to convert earnings by place of work to a place-of-residence basis.

Property income is rental income of persons, personal dividend income, and personal interest income.

Personal current transfer receipts are benefits received by persons from federal, state, and local governments and from businesses for which no current services are performed. They include retirement and disability insurance benefits (mainly Social Security), medical benefits (mainly Medicare and Medicaid), income maintenance benefits, unemployment insurance compensation, veteransí benefits, and federal education and training assistance.

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.

Statistical Convention

Quarter-to-quarter percent changes are calculated from unrounded data and are not annualized. Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise specified. Quarter-to-quarter dollar changes are differences between published estimates.

BEA Regions

BEA groups all 50 states and the District of Columbia into eight distinct regions for purposes of data collecting and analyses: New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont); Mideast (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania); Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin); Plains (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota); Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia); Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas); Rocky Mountain (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming); and Far West (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington).

Use of State Personal Income Statistics

State personal income statistics provide a framework for analyzing current economic conditions in each state and can serve as a basis for decision making. For example:

  • Federal government agencies use the statistics as a basis for allocating funds and determining matching grants to states. The statistics are also used in forecasting models to project energy and water use.
  • State governments use the statistics to project tax revenues and the need for public services.
  • Academic regional economists use the statistics for applied research.
  • Businesses, trade associations, and labor organizations use the statistics for market research.


The entire historical time series for these estimates can be accessed in BEA's Interactive Data Application at www.bea.gov/itable/. Mapping and charting software are also available.

Further discussion of the regional statistics presented in this news release will be provided in the next issue of the Survey of Current Business, available online at: www.bea.gov/scb/index.htm

Complete information on the sources and methods for the estimation of BEA's State Personal Income and Employment is available online at: www.bea.gov/regional/pdf/spi2014.pdf

BEA Regional Facts (BEARFACTS), a narrative summary of personal income, per capita personal income, and components of income for each state, is available online at: www.bea.gov/regional/bearfacts/

BEA's news release schedule is available at: www.bea.gov/newsreleases/2016rd.htm

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