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Local Area Personal Income, 2009

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 8:30 A.M. EDT, Thursday, April 21, 2011BEA 11—17Local Area Personal Income, 2009
Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released estimates of personal income at the county level for 2009. Among large counties (those with a population of more than 250,000) the change in personal income from 2008 to 2009 ranged from an 8.1 percent decline (in Oakland County, Michigan) to a 4.2 percent gain (in Loudoun County, Virginia). Growth slowed in all but one of the nation’s 255 large counties. For the nation, personal income fell 1.7 percent in 2009 after growing 4.0 percent in 2008.

Per capita personal income (personal income divided by population) in large counties in 2009 ranged from $20,509 in Hidalgo County, Texas to $105,554 in New York County, New York (Manhattan).

Among small counties, those with populations less than 50,000, swings in farm income accounted for much of the change in personal income from 2008 to 2009.

Personal income is a comprehensive measure of the income of all persons from all sources. In addition to wages and salaries, it includes employer-provided health insurance, dividends and interest income, social security benefits, and other types of income.

The county estimates released today complete the successively more detailed series of data releases depicting the geographic distribution of the nation’s personal income for 2009. National estimates typically are released one month after the end of the year, state estimates are released two months later, and metropolitan area estimates for 2009 were released in August 2010.

Personal income and its components are available for 3,113 counties for 2009. In addition, detailed annual estimates from 1969 to 2009 of earnings and employment, inflows and outflows of commuters’ earnings, personal current transfer receipts, and farm gross income and expenses by major category for each county are available. A partial sample of the data available is presented in the attached table for Orange County, California. These estimates are the only comprehensive annual measure of economic activity available for counties. Go to www.bea.gov/regional/reis/ to access these estimates.

A narrative for each county describing personal income using current estimates, growth rates, and a breakdown of the sources of personal income is available at www.bea.gov/regional/bearfacts/.

Note about data on the BEA Web site

The complete set of local area income and employment estimates for 1969-2009 is now available interactively on BEA’s Web site. Detailed annual estimates of earnings and employment by industry, components of personal income, personal current transfer receipts, farm gross income and expenses by major category, and inflows and outflows of commuters’ earnings for each of the geographic regions are available. These estimates are the only detailed, broadly inclusive, annual measure of economic activity available for counties. Go to www.bea.gov/regional/reis/ to access these estimates.

BEA Regional Facts (BEARFACTS), a narrative summary of personal income, per capita personal income, and components of income for states, BEA economic areas, metropolitan statistical areas, and counties, is available on BEA’s Web site. Go to www.bea.gov/regional/bearfacts/ to access these summaries.

Data on personal income and per capita personal income for states, BEA economic areas, metropolitan statistical areas, as well as data for counties, will be presented in the May issue of the Survey of Current Business, the monthly journal of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. See the end of this release for information on obtaining copies of the Survey of Current Business on BEA’s Web site. For further information, call (202) 606-5360.

Definitions

Personal income is the income received by all persons from all sources. Personal income is the sum of net earnings by place of residence, rental income of persons, personal dividend income, personal interest income, and personal current transfer receipts. Net earnings is earnings by place of work (the sum of wage and salary disbursements, supplements to wages and salaries, and proprietors’ income) less contributions for government social insurance, plus an adjustment to convert earnings by place of work to a place-of-residence basis. Personal income is measured before the deduction of personal income taxes and other personal taxes and is reported in current dollars (no adjustment is made for price changes).

The estimate of personal income in the United States is derived as the sum of the county estimates; it differs slightly from the estimate of personal income in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) because of differences in coverage, in the methodologies used to prepare the estimates, and in the timing of the availability of source data.

Per capita personal income is calculated as the personal income of the residents of a given area divided by the resident population of the area. In computing per capita personal income, BEA uses the Census Bureau’s annual midyear population estimates.

The metropolitan area definitions used by BEA for its entire series of personal income estimates are the county-based definitions developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for federal statistical purposes and last updated in December 2009. OMB’s general concept of a metropolitan area is that of a geographic area consisting of a large population nucleus together with adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with the nucleus. Detailed personal income estimates for metropolitan statistical areas, micropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and combined statistical areas are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov.

BEA’s national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business; and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA’s Web site at www.bea.gov. By visiting the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.

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