Skip to Navigation
share:

Gross Domestic Product Per Capita

Description: 

Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (per person) is the broadest measure of individual economic well-being available by state and metropolitan area. It is calculated by dividing GDP by population.

GDP for the nation, states, and metro areas are produced in both current dollars and inflation-adjusted (real) dollars. The inflation adjustment is unique to each geographic area. Only annual data are available by state and metropolitan area. Though estimates of current dollar GDP by state go back to 1963, inflation-adjusted data are available only back to 1987. Gross domestic product data are available by metro area only since 2001; county data are not available.

Population estimates are available annually for the United States, Arizona, and the six Arizona metropolitan areas going back decades.

The latest current dollar GDP per capita figure by metropolitan area is presented on Arizona Indicators, along with data for the same year for the United States, the U.S. metro average, and Arizona. The metropolitan area figures are also presented as a percentage of the U.S. metro average. Arizona’s current dollar figure as a percentage of the national average is presented back to 1969. The inflation-adjusted percent change in GDP per employee is displayed, beginning in 1988 for the United States and Arizona and in 2002 for the metropolitan areas.

Data Source: 

U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/regional/index.htm. Estimates by state are released in June, consisting of advanced (preliminary) estimates for the preceding calendar year by sector, as well as revised estimates for the prior year by sector and subsector. The metro area estimates are released eight months later in February.

Annual population estimates, expressed as of July 1, are produced by the U. S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau. The national and state estimates are released in December, with metropolitan area figures released the following March. The time series of population estimates is most easily accessed from the BEA: http://www.bea.gov/regional/index.htm.

Data Quality Comments: 

The GDP estimates for the latest year are labeled as “advanced” — an abbreviated set of mostly preliminary data and a simplified methodology are used to generate these estimates. Even after the estimates are revised, some of the inputs to the calculation of GDP by state and especially by metropolitan area are estimated.

iconGross Domestic Product Per Capita, 2013

Loading Data...

Visualization Notes:

GDP per capita in Arizona in 2013 was $42,107, considerably less than the national average of $52,831. Each of Arizona’s seven metro areas had a figure less than the U.S. metro average.

iconGross Domestic Product Per Capita as a Percentage of the U.S. Metro Average, 2013

Loading Data...

Visualization Notes:

A reasonable target is for GDP per capita, a measure of economic well-being, to be within 5 percent of the U.S. metro average in the state’s larger metro areas. In 2013, relative to the national metropolitan average, GDP per capita was 15 percent lower in Metro Phoenix, 32 percent lower in Metro Flagstaff, 36 percent lower in Metro Tucson, and at least 42 percent below average in each of the other four metro areas. The substantial variation in GDP per capita across the metro areas is a result of such factors as industrial mix, household size, and the number of workers per household.

iconGross Domestic Product Per Capita in Arizona as a Percentage of the National Average

Loading Data...

Visualization Notes:

A reasonable target is for Arizona’s GDP per capita to be within 5 percent of the national average. This was the case from 1970 through 1974. From 1992 through 2007, Arizona’s figure was between 8-and-13 percent less than the national average. The differential widened to 20 percent in 2013 — the largest on record.

Arizona’s percentage of the U.S. average is cyclical, higher in economic expansions than in recessions. Since the most recent peak of 89.0 percent of the national average in 2006 and 2007, the percentage declined during the recession and has slipped further since then, to 79.7 percent in 2013.

iconGross Domestic Product Per Capita in Arizona and the United States, Inflation-Adjusted Percent Change

Loading Data...

Visualization Notes:

Nationally, the annual percent change in GDP per capita is cyclical, with decreases or small gains during economic recessions and increases of around 2 percent during economic expansions. The percent change in Arizona typically varies from less than the national average during recessions to more than the U.S. average during expansions. Decreases in Arizona were considerably worse than the national average in the recessionary years from 2008 through 2010. Relative to the nation, Arizona did a little better in 2011, about the same in 2012, but worse in 2013 when GDP per capita was unchanged.

iconGross Domestic Product Per Capita, Inflation-Adjusted Percent Change

Loading Data...

Visualization Notes:

In the nine years through 2013, representing an entire economic cycle, inflation-adjusted GDP per capita growth averaged 0.48 percent per year nationally, but Arizona experienced an annual average decrease of 0.43 percent. Two of Arizona’s seven metro areas — Flagstaff and Sierra Vista —exceeded the national metro average of 0.37 percent. The state’s other metro areas experienced a decrease in real GDP per employee, ranging from 0.2 percent per year in the Tucson area to 1.2 percent or more per year in the Prescott, Yuma, and lake Havasu City areas.

Data Source

U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/regional/index.htm. Estimates by state are released in June, consisting of advanced (preliminary) estimates for the preceding calendar year by sector, as well as revised estimates for the prior year by sector and subsector. The metro area estimates are released eight months later in February.

Annual population estimates, expressed as of July 1, are produced by the U. S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau. The national and state estimates are released in December, with metropolitan area figures released the following March. The time series of population estimates is most easily accessed from the BEA: http://www.bea.gov/regional/index.htm.