16 States Where Incomes Are Booming

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11. South Carolina
> Personal income growth (2012-2017): +15.8%
> Per-capita personal income: $39,860 (8th lowest)
> Employment growth (2012-2017): +12.2% (11th largest increase)
> GDP growth (2012-2017): +13.3% (9th largest increase)

Personal income in South Carolina has grown by 15.8% since 2012, likely because more people in the state have become employed. The unemployment rate declined from 9.2% in 2011 to 4.3% in 2017, one of the steepest drops in the nation. Employment in the state increased by 12.2% over that period, one of the larger increases of any state.

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10. Florida
> Personal income growth (2012-2017): +16.2%
> Per-capita personal income: $41,852 (17th lowest)
> Employment growth (2012-2017): +15.8% (3rd largest increase)
> GDP growth (2012-2017): +14.6% (7th largest increase)

As Florida’s population has grown more than any state in the country, personal incomes are also growing faster than most other states. A net of over 1.9 million people have migrated to the Sunshine State since 2010, a 10.3% growth rate. Both figures are higher than any other state.

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9. Georgia
> Personal income growth (2012-2017): +16.6%
> Per-capita personal income: $41,836 (16th lowest)
> Employment growth (2012-2017): +12.6% (9th largest increase)
> GDP growth (2012-2017): +14.5% (8th largest increase)

Georgia’s personal income grew by 16.6% between 2012 and 2017, largely bolstered by the state’s trade, transportation, and utilities industry. The sector accounts for 21.1% of all Georgia jobs and employment in the industry has grown 5.3% over the last 10 years.

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8. California
> Personal income growth (2012-2017): +16.6%
> Per-capita personal income: $45,358 (23rd highest)
> Employment growth (2012-2017): +13.9% (8th largest increase)
> GDP growth (2012-2017): +18.5% (2nd largest increase)

As home to Silicon Valley, California is the hub of America’s high-paying tech jobs. Employment in California’s information industry grew 12.0% over the past decade, a time when the American information industry lost 7.8% of its jobs. Though it accounts for just 3.1% of California’s employment, the high-paying information sector has likely contributed to rising personal income in California.

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7. Oregon
> Personal income growth (2012-2017): +17.5%
> Per-capita personal income: $41,366 (13th lowest)
> Employment growth (2012-2017): +14.2% (6th largest increase)
> GDP growth (2012-2017): +10.4% (16th largest increase)

Personal income rose significantly in Oregon between 2012 and 2017, and it appears that the improvement resulted in a number of state residents exiting poverty. The poverty rate in Oregon dropped from 17.2% in 2012 to 13.3% in 2016 — the largest percentage point drop of any state during that time.