Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Per Capita Personal Income Higher in Portland Area and Columbia Gorge

In 2015, Oregon had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $43,783. The PCPI ranked 29th in the United States and was 91 percent of the national average, $48,112, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Per capita personal income is calculated by dividing total income by total population in the area. Total income includes wages from work, income from investments like stocks and real estate, and transfer payments such as social security benefits.

Per capita personal income varies among states and counties, and by metro and non-metro areas. A look at county numbers shows high variability in PCPI. In general, PCPI is higher in the Portland area and along the Columbia Gorge. Sherman County, a non-metro area, actually had the highest PCPI in 2015 at $57,526. Areas with a higher concentration of older residents can show lower PCPI. In Oregon, Malheur County ($30,255) and Jefferson County ($32,178) had the lowest PCPI.

Metro areas across Oregon tend to have higher per capita personal income than non-metro areas. In 2015, non-metro areas ($37,332) in Oregon had a PCPI just 82.8 percent of the metro figure ($45,040). In the U.S., PCPI of non-metro areas accounted for 76 percent of the metro PCPI.

Comparing metro Oregon with other metro areas across the nation, however, we see that Oregon’s metro PCPI lags the nation, and has for a long while. In fact, Oregon’s metro areas had a PCPI that was 95.5 percent of the national PCPI in 1995, 89.8 percent in 2005, and 90.4 percent in 2015.

On the non-metro side, Oregon’s PCPI kept pace to the national average for non-metros. While in 1995 PCPI in Oregon’s non-metro areas ($18,576) was actually higher than national PCPI in non-metro areas ($18,110), it was 98.2 percent of U.S. non-metro in 2005 and 98.6 percent in 2015.

To learn more, read Economist Felicia Bechtoldt's full article "Per Capita Personal Income in Oregon".

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