The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its figures of changes in state income for calendar year 2015. The aggregate change of income for the U.S. in 2015 was an increase of 4.4%

The release shows how much a state’s income has risen or fallen from the end of 2014 to the end of 2015. The BEA measures state income as the sum of net earnings by place of residence, property income, and personal current transfer receipts. Net earnings are wages, salaries, and current benefits like employer provided healthcare. Property income includes rental income, but also stock dividends and other interest income. Current transfer receipts include any benefits received from Federal, state, or local government, as well as private pensions.

Three of the five best performing states are from the BEA’s Far West region; California, Oregon, and Nevada. Nevada’s Rocky Mountain neighbor, Utah, and Georgia in the Southeast, round out the top five performers. California tops the list with an annual increase of 6.3%.

Only North Dakota saw its state income fall for the year 2015, by -0.2%. North Dakota has been hit hard by the decline in oil prices. North Dakota and its Plains State neighbors, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska, make up four of the bottom five states, and their Rocky Mountain neighbor, Wyoming, completes the bottom five. An excellent map provided by the BEA shows there are clear clusters of high performing states out west and in the old south, and weaker performers in the plains. The Great Lakes and northeast regions have states with mixed results; Michigan, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts saw relatively high gains, but Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut performed much more modestly.

You can see where your state ranked for the year below. It is important to note that this report does not include the wage-growth numbers commonly reported by the media. Those numbers are collected and reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the focus is specifically on wage earners. The report on income from the Bureau of Economic Analysis takes a much broader look at income overall.


All data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

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