Indiana residents’ ‘real’ personal income sees growth—but still below national average

Indiana was among the top states in the nation when it came to growth in real per-capita personal income from 2015 to 2016, according to the latest federal data.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released updated data Thursday on the measure, which is considered important because it accounts for regional price parities and cost of living.

Real per-capita personal income in Indiana in 2016 was $43,180 in chained 2009 dollars, a 2.2 percent jump from the 2015 figure and a much higher jump than the U.S. average increase of 0.4 percent.

“Indiana had a good year in picking up a percentage increase in real personal income,” said Andrew Bradley, senior policy analyst for the Indiana Institute for Working Families. “That’s good news. We were really lagging behind in recovering from the recession, and now we’re kind of making up some ground.”

But even with the relatively high growth rate, Indiana’s real per-capita personal income ranks 29th highest in the nation. The U.S. real per-capita personal income is $44,4132.

“Even accounting for cost of living, incomes in Indiana are still below the national median,” Bradley said. “We can’t coast on low cost of living. We have to continue look at who the people are that are being left out of the economy.”

And overall real personal income in the state—not per-capita—increased 2.5 percent—higher than the national 1.1 percent growth rate.

States with the biggest jumps in overall real personal income were Utah and Georgia with 3.3 percent jumps, and Washington with a 3 percent jump.

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