Real Personal Income for Metropolitan Areas


An interactive visualization of real personal income in metropolitan areas.

This interactive visualization presents annual real personal income by metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The source of the original data is Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the United States Department of Commerce. I’ve gathered this data, performed some calculations, and present it in an interactive visualization.

BEA provides these values as real, meaning adjusted for inflation with values expressed as 2012 dollars. Besides adjusting for the effects of overall inflation, BEA also adjusts these figures for regional price parity. This accounts for differences in prices in different regions of the nation. Data ranges from 2008 to 2020. To learn more about this data and access the interactive visualization, click on Visualization: Real personal income by metropolitan area.

In the visualization, chart 3 makes three presentations:

  • The difference from national value for per capita real personal income for each metro
  • The distribution of the difference from the national value over the years
  • Total personal income for each metro

A nearby example shows the Wichita metro area and some others. Wichita had been above the nation in personal income, but over the past five years, the difference has diminished to Wichita being nearly the same as the nation.

An interesting observation is the variability of per capita real personal income. The box plot shows this. The height of the box represents the middle 50 percent of the data. This box is taller for Wichita than for many of the nearby metros, especially Omaha and Des Moines.

Click for larger.
Click for larger.


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