2020 Transfer Receipts Wheeler County’s Most Important Personal Income Source

by Dallas Fridley

June 1, 2022

Wheeler County’s 2020 per capita personal income ranked 34th among Oregon’s 36 counties at $41,366. Wheeler County trailed the state’s per capita personal income by more than $14,900. Wheeler County’s total personal income reached $57.4 million in 2020 with 1,387 residents, while Oregon’s totaled $238.8 billion and its population reached over 4.2 million.
Wheeler County’s total personal income rose by about $7.0 million in 2020, an over-the-year gain of 13.8%. Wheeler County’s transfer receipts provided the biggest boost, rising by $3.8 million. Net earnings by place of residence also contributed to Wheeler County’s 2020 personal income growth, rising by $3.2 million. Dividends, interest, and rent didn’t help Wheeler County’s bottom line, suffering a loss of $0.1 million. On a per capita basis, Wheeler County’s personal income rose by $3,981 in 2020, a one-year increase of 10.6%.

Transfer receipts represented 42.2% of Wheeler County’s 2020 personal income total, reaching $24.2 million. On a per capita basis, Wheeler County ranked fifth in Oregon at $17,476, exceeding Oregon’s transfer receipts per capita by about $4,100. All but eight Oregon’s counties held a per capita advantage over the state, with transfer receipts in six metro counties (Benton, Clackamas, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill) and two rural (Hood River and Morrow) lagging. Curry County’s transfer receipts led Oregon in 2020 at $19,443 per capita, while Coos ($19,063), Josephine ($18,036), and Douglas ($17,809) rounded out the top five.

Net earnings by place of residence represented 38% of Wheeler County’s total personal income in 2020, at $21.8 million. On a per capita basis, Wheeler County’s net earnings ranked 36th or last in Oregon at $15,713, producing a gap of about $16,800 compared with the state. Eight counties held a per capita net earnings advantage over Oregon, including these (in ranked order): Gilliam; Washington; Sherman; Clackamas; Multnomah; Deschutes; Hood River; and Morrow.
Dividends, interest, and rent brought in $11.3 million or 19.8% of Wheeler County’s 2020 personal income. On a per capita basis, Wheeler County ranked 22nd among Oregon counties at $8,177, lagging the state by about $2,200. Eight Oregon counties held a per capita advantage over the state and two-dozen counties lagged. Deschutes County led Oregon, with $14,795 per capita coming from dividends, interest, and rent.

Farm earnings represented a significant share of Wheeler County’s earnings by place of work, reaching $4.0 million in 2020, a one-year increase of $2.9 million. Farm earnings held a 20.8% share of Wheeler County’s earnings by place of work, compared with Oregon’s 1.5% or $2.4 billion. Oregon’s farm earnings brought in $577 per capita in 2020, while Wheeler County’s farm earnings per capita reached $2,910. Morrow County’s farm earnings per capita led Oregon, at $18,567, with Gilliam County’s $14,994 ranking second.

Wheeler County’s 2020 earnings by place of residence included a residency adjustment or inflow of $5.3 million. On a per capita basis, Wheeler County’s inflow reached $3,809 in 2020 (ranking fifth), while Oregon residency adjustments produced an outflow of $1,298 per capita. Columbia County’s inflow of earnings per capita led the state, reaching $15,099 in 2020, followed by Polk County’s $11,674 and then Clackamas County at $10,477. At the other end of the spectrum, Morrow County had the highest outflow, at $13,139 per capita, Sherman County’s $11,452 outflow ranked second and Multnomah County’s $11,244 per capita ranked third.

Over the 2010 to 2020 period, Wheeler County’s per capita income rose by 74.4% or $17,645 while its population decreased by 4.3% or about 60 residents. Wheeler County’s total personal income grew by $23.0 million or 67% over the decade, just below Oregon’s 73% increase ($100.6 billion).


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