Special Report

Incomes Are Rising Fast in New York

The consumer price index jumped by 0.8% in April — a far larger increase than many had anticipated. The recent spike in the cost of goods and services has led to widespread concerns over inflation. If the cost of living continues to climb at such a rapid pace, it could outpace wage growth, weakening the buying power of the American consumer. Such an outcome would be a reversal of a long-term trend in much of the United States.

Over the last 10 years, real personal income per capita, a measure of annual earnings that is adjusted for inflation, climbed in the United States from $42,287 in 2010 to $53,071 in 2020. There are many potential factors that drove up real personal income, not the least of which is wage growth outpacing inflation.

In 2010, real personal income per capita was $43,313 in New York state, the 20th highest among the 50 states. As of 2020, real personal income in the state was $56,186 — ninth highest among states. The 29.7% 10-year increase in inflation-adjusted income per capita is the one of the highest in the country.

As is often the case, the increase in income per capita in New York appears to be largely attributable to increased workforce participation, from 44.1% of the population working in 2010 to 45.4% in 2020. Employment in the state grew by 2.7% over the last decade, even as the state’s population contracted by 4.4%.

Percent growth in real personal income per capita from 2010 to 2020 was calculated using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income figures were adjusted from current dollars to constant 2012 dollars using the U.S. personal consumption expenditure price index and were also adjusted for regional price differences using regional price parity in accordance with the methodology provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. These are the 16 states where incomes are rising the fastest.

Rank State 10-yr. chg. in real personal income per capita (%) Real personal income per capita, 2020 ($) 10-yr. workforce participation chg. (ppt.) 10-yr. chg. in avg. weekly hours worked (%)
1 Utah +39.0 48,052 +4.4 -3.4
2 California +35.0 53,097 +2.7 +2.4
3 Illinois +32.0 57,412 +1.5 +0.3
4 Colorado +31.7 55,369 +1.4 -2.3
5 Idaho +31.2 46,567 +2.9 +1.2
6 Michigan +30.5 50,706 +1.3 +1.5
7 New York +29.7 56,186 +1.3 -2.1
8 Arkansas +29.1 48,263 +1.1 -0.6
9 Oregon +29.0 49,328 +1.1 +0.6
10 Washington +28.8 55,607 +0.5 +2.3
11 Pennsylvania +27.9 56,923 -0.4 +3.0
12 Montana +27.1 50,465 +0.2 +0.6
13 Arizona +26.8 45,103 +1.1 -0.6
14 Indiana +26.4 50,772 +1.0 +0.3
15 Nevada +25.8 48,896 -0.8 0
16 Ohio +25.7 52,849 +1.3 +2.4
17 Georgia +25.2 48,554 +1.3 -0.3
18 Massachusetts +24.7 63,468 -0.4 +0.6
19 Iowa +23.7 54,460 -0.6 +0.9
20 South Carolina +23.4 45,795 +0.7 -2.0
21 Delaware +22.6 50,743 -1.6 +0.3
22 Wisconsin +22.2 53,296 +0.4 +1.2
23 Minnesota +22.0 55,774 -0.7 +3.3
24 New Jersey +21.9 56,161 -0.4 +0.9
25 Texas +21.8 50,434 +0.5 0
26 Kansas +21.5 55,204 -0.0 +0.6
27 Nebraska +21.5 56,890 -0.7 -1.5
28 Wyoming +21.4 60,259 -3.6 -4.2
29 Tennessee +21.3 49,539 +2.3 -0.6
30 New Hampshire +21.0 55,179 -0.5 +2.4
31 Kentucky +20.8 46,530 +0.4 0
32 Alabama +20.6 47,598 +0.8 +0.6
33 Maryland +20.6 55,980 -1.0 +0.9
34 West Virginia +20.3 45,252 -0.9 +1.1
35 Hawaii +20.3 43,546 -3.6 -0.3
36 Florida +20.2 48,677 +0.9 -3.7
37 New Mexico +20.2 44,320 -1.1 -2.9
38 North Carolina +19.1 48,197 +0.8 +1.5
39 Virginia +19.0 54,691 -0.7 -3.7
40 Maine +18.9 48,518 -0.5 +0.9
41 Rhode Island +18.1 53,353 -0.4 -0.9
42 Missouri +18.0 50,611 +0.5 -0.9
43 South Dakota +17.6 57,098 -1.8 +1.2
44 Mississippi +17.4 42,878 +0.6 -3.6
45 Oklahoma +17.3 49,361 -0.7 -1.4
46 Louisiana +16.7 49,840 -2.1 -1.6
47 Vermont +16.2 50,497 -1.6 -1.5
48 North Dakota +16.2 58,415 -2.2 +5.5
49 Connecticut +14.8 67,336 -1.3 +2.4
50 Alaska +12.1 54,624 -4.6 -0.8