Real personal income in states and metros


When adjusted for regional differences, personal income in Wichita and Kansas is higher than otherwise, but growth is slow.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, a division of the United States Department of Commerce, generates personal income data for states and metropolitan statistical areas. I present this data in two interactive visualizations, one for states, and a second for metros.

When presenting economic data, the term “real” commonly means that dollar amounts have been adjusted for the effects of inflation. That is the case for this data. BEA goes further in also adjusting data for regional price parity and personal consumption expenditures price index.

The difference when using values adjusted for regional differences can be substantial. For example, when considering per capita personal income in 2018 using actual, non-adjusted dollars, Kansas ranked number 23 among the states, which is a typical value for Kansas. When adjusted for region, Kansas ranked number 16. In a nearby example from the visualization, the value of per capita personal income for Kansas is better than other states, but is growing slowly. This is easily seen when comparing Colorado to Kansas.

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In the example for metro areas in Kansas, Wichita’s per capita personal income is high, but growing slower than some areas, including the nation. (The Kansas City metro area includes Kansas City, Missouri and other areas in Missouri.)

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To learn more about this data and access the interactive visualizations, click here.


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