Photo: Vishal Jalan via Flickr
With tax season in full swing right now, personal income is on everyone’s mind. But could your income be bigger if you lived in a different state?
According to recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal income increased in all of the states last year except for North Dakota. The five states seeing the most growth are Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. As for the worst states, North Dakota came in last place and was the only state that saw a decrease in income. Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota filled out the rest of the states with the smallest growth.
West is best, Plains feel pain
Led by Washington, the region that has shown the most earnings income growth collectively is the Far West at 4.1% on average, despite Alaska’s 0.4% growth. The Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming weren’t far behind with an average of 4%.
Florida, Georgia and North Carolina saw the highest increases outside of the Western U.S. with a 3.8% increase in income for each state. The Plains region (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and The Dakotas) are seeing the slowest growth right now with the average rate of 1.4%, far below the national average of 3.1%. These states were hit particularly hard as commodity prices remain low following a fourth consecutive annual decrease in farm earnings.
Different industries are impacting different states. Retail trade put Washington ahead of the pack, coming in 15.3%, substantially higher than the 2.9% across the rest of the nation. In Nevada, the construction industry was the main contributor at 13.2% compared with 5.2% for the rest of the U.S., and health care gave Arizona a boost with earnings coming in at 6.4% compared to 4.1% for the nation.