Dakotas Outpacing MN In “Real” Income Growth

Based on a new measure of personal income, which factors in the price of goods and services in each state, Minnesota's income rose 2.8 percent in 2011.
Dakotas Outpacing MN In “Real” Income Growth

“Real personal income”—which takes into account the purchasing power of an income in a given area—is growing faster in Minnesota than in Wisconsin, although its growth rate lags far behind the Dakotas.

That’s according to information that the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released Wednesday, which examined the change in regional incomes and prices between 2010 and 2011.

The BEA described its new “real personal income” data as “prototype estimates.” The measure takes into account both personal income—all income a person receives, including net earnings and property income, adjusted for inflation—as well as changes in the average prices that consumers pay for goods and services in a given area.

The calculation is meant to provide better income comparisons across different states by factoring in the purchasing power of people’s incomes. (For the full report, including detailed methodology, click here.)

On an unadjusted basis, Minnesotans’ total personal income—that of all residents combined—totaled $238.2 billion in 2011, up 5.4 percent from 2010. On a per capita basis, it climbed 5 percent to $44,600.

Its “real personal income,” however, rose 2.8 percent to $217 billion in 2011, slightly outpacing the national growth rate, based on the BEA’s new formula. On a per capita basis, it rose 2.1 percent to $40,600.

When unadjusted, South Dakota’s total personal income climbed 14 percent in 2011 to $36.4 billion. And its per capita income climbed 11.6 percent to $44,200.

But its “real personal income” climbed 10.4 percent during the period to $36.8 billion—outpacing all other states, according the BEA. On a per capita basis, its real personal income climbed 9.4 percent to $44,700.

The data essentially shows that incomes in the Dakotas were rising quickly during the period while prices for goods, rent, and services remained well below the national average. In other words, their incomes are increasing, and their dollars also stretch further.

North Dakota’s real personal income rose 9.5 percent to $32 billion in 2011. Wisconsin’s climbed 1.7 percent to $215 billion.

Below is a chart showing state-by-state growth rates for real personal income. To view the BEA’s complete report, click here.