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Per Capita Personal Income

Description: 

Per capita personal income is the broadest measure of individual economic well-being available by county. Personal income includes earnings (consisting of wages and salaries of workers, other labor income, and proprietors’ income); dividends, interest, and rent; and transfer payments (such as retirement benefits, food stamps, and unemployment compensation). Per capita personal income is calculated by dividing personal income by population.

The latest current dollar per capita personal income figure by county is presented on Arizona Indicators, along with data for the same year for the United States, the U.S. metro average, the U.S. nonmetro average, and Arizona. The figure for Arizona also is expressed as a percentage of the national average. Counties within a metropolitan area are presented as a percentage of the U.S. metro average; the remaining counties are compared to the national nonmetro average. A history of Arizona’s current dollar figure as a percentage of the national average is presented back to 1969. In addition, the inflation-adjusted percent change in per capita personal income is displayed for each area, beginning with 1970. The data are inflation adjusted using the gross domestic product implicit price deflator (GDP deflator).

Data Source: 

U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Preliminary annual data by state are released in March, with revised annual data reported in September. County data are released two months later, in November. All of the data can be accessed from http://www.bea.gov/regional/index.htm.

The GDP deflator is available from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/national/index.htm. Click on the “Interactive Tables: GDP and the National Income and Product Account (NIPA) Historical Tables” link; the GDP deflator is in Table 1.1.9 (Section 1: Domestic Product and Income).

Data Quality Comments: 

Some of the inputs to the calculation of personal income by state and county are estimated.

iconPer Capita Personal Income, 2013

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Visualization Notes:

Per capita personal income in Arizona in 2013 was $36,983, considerably less than the national average of $77,765. Per capita personal income in 2013 was considerably less than the U.S. metro average in each of the state’s eight metropolitan counties; only three of the metro counties even exceeded the nonmetro average. Among the seven nonmetro counties, the figure was greater than the U.S. nonmetro average only in Greenlee.

iconPer Capita Personal Income as Percentages of the National Averages, 2013

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Visualization Notes:

Reasonable targets for Arizona are for the state’s per capita personal income to be within 5 percent of the national average, for the larger metro counties to have a figure within 5 percent of the U.S. metro average, and for the nonmetro counties to have a figure within 5 percent of the nonmetro average.

Among Arizona’s eight metropolitan counties, per capita personal income in 2013 was 13 percent below the U.S. metro average in Maricopa County, between 20-and-22 percent lower in Cochise, Coconino, and Pima counties, and 30-to-45 percent lower in the other counties. Among the seven nonmetro counties, the figure was slightly above the U.S. nonmetro average in Greenlee, between 7-and-14 percent below in Gila and La Paz counties, and from 24-to-28 percent below the nonmetro average in the other four nonmetro counties.

iconPer Capita Personal Income in Arizona as a Percentage of the National Average

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Visualization Notes:

A reasonable target is for Arizona’s per capita personal income to be within 5 percent of the national average. This was the case during the early 1970s. Per capita personal income in Arizona was within 10 percent of the national average in each year from 1969 through 1988, but since then has been that high only during the mid-2000s economic boom. The ratio to the U.S. average dropped for the seventh consecutive year in 2013, putting Arizona’s figure 17.4 percent less than the national average. The ratio was lower only from 1930 to 1933.

iconPer Capita Personal Income, Inflation-Adjusted Percent Change

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Visualization Notes:

Per capita personal income better reflects economic performance than does personal income since the varying growth rates in population are removed. The inflation-adjusted percent change in per capita personal income is cyclical, with declines or small gains common during recessions and larger increases usually occurring during expansions.

The annual percent change in Arizona typically is not much different from the national average, but tends to be higher at the peak of an economic expansion and lower during recessions. Arizona’s increase was considerably higher (by at least 1 percentage point) than the U.S. average from 2004 through 2006, but Arizona did considerably worse than the national average in each year from 2007 through 2012. In 2013, the figure decreased in Arizona by 0.5 percent, compared to a 0.2 percent decline nationally.

Data Source

U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Preliminary annual data by state are released in March, with revised annual data reported in September. County data are released two months later, in November. All of the data can be accessed from http://www.bea.gov/regional/index.htm.

The GDP deflator is available from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/national/index.htm. Click on the “Interactive Tables: GDP and the National Income and Product Account (NIPA) Historical Tables” link; the GDP deflator is in Table 1.1.9 (Section 1: Domestic Product and Income).