Personal Income Growth in 2015 Is Shared by the Overwhelming Majority of U.S. Counties; Evidence That Economic Recovery is Broadly Distributed

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its 2015 personal income numbers for all 3,113 counties in the U.S. 82% (2,552) of all U.S. counties saw their personal income rise in 2015, while 17.6% (548) saw personal income fall. Only 0.4% (13), had unchanged personal income levels. On average, personal income rose 4.7 percent in 2015 in the metropolitan portion of the United States and rose 2.7 percent in the non-metropolitan portion. Personal income growth in 2015 ranged from -30.3 percent in Sully County, South Dakota to 35.0 percent in Loving County, Texas.

The BEA defines personal income as being 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 and international sources. Personal income for 2015 ranged from $3.6 million in Loving County, Texas to $544.3 billion in Los Angeles County, California. Personal Oncome on a per capita basis it ranged from $16,007 in Wheeler County, Georgia to $194,861 in Teton County, Wyoming.

The map below is of all U.S. counties. All but the lightest shade experienced at least some level of 2015 personal income growth. Many counties, especially in the Pacific west and mountain west states, as well as Florida, experienced strong growth of over 5.1%. States with the highest growth are not necessarily the most economically prosperous in the United States; they did improve their personal income the most, however.

2015 personal income

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.