Gilliam County’s Per Capita Income Rose Faster than Oregon’s in 2017

by Dallas Fridley

March 14, 2019

In 2017, Gilliam County ranked as one of Oregon’s smallest based on population, placing 34th out of 36. Despite a small, rural population base, Gilliam County’s 2017 per capita personal income ranked seventh among Oregon counties at $47,614 and lagged the state’s $48,137 by just $523. Gilliam County’s per capita income rose by 2.7 percent in 2017, although its population fell by 0.2 percent. Washington County’s per capita income led the state in 2017, at $57,331. On a nominal basis, Gilliam County’s total personal income reached $88.3 million in 2017, with 1,855 residents, while Oregon’s totaled $199.4 billion and its population rose to 4,142,776.
Net earnings by place of residence accounted for nearly 55 percent of Gilliam County’s personal income in 2017, at $48.3 million. On a per capita basis, Gilliam County’s net earnings ranked seventh, at $26,041, lagging Oregon’s $29,245 by about $3,200. Only five counties, including Washington, Clackamas, Multnomah, Hood River, and Deschutes, held an advantage in net earnings.

Dividends, interest, and rent brought in $18.7 million or about 21 percent of Gilliam County’s 2017 personal income total. On a per capita basis, Gilliam County ranked ninth among Oregon counties at $10,102, producing a gap of about $300 over Oregon’s $9,793. Ten Oregon counties held a per capita advantage over the state, with more than two-thirds lagging. Deschutes County led the state, with $12,221 per capita coming from dividends, interest, and rent.
Transfer receipts in Gilliam County totaled $21.3 million, representing 24 percent of its 2017 personal income. At $11,471 per capita, Gilliam County ranked 14th and exceeded Oregon’s $9,100 by nearly $2,400. All but eight of Oregon’s counties held a per capita advantage over the state, with transfer receipts in six metro counties (Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, Benton, Yamhill, and Polk) and two rural (Hood River and Morrow) lagging.

Gilliam County’s per capita personal income rose by $1,251 in 2017, an increase of 2.7 percent, while its population fell by four residents. Gilliam County’s per capita income ranked fifth in 2012 and 2013, rising to seventh from 2014 to 2017. Gilliam County outperformed the state over the decade (2007-2017), producing a per capita income gain of 43.1 percent (+$14,342), compared with Oregon’s 33.9 percent increase (+$12,182). Although Gilliam County’s per capita income growth exceeded Oregon’s, its population growth lagged considerably, rising just 2.1 percent compared with Oregon’s 11.3 percent.

On a nominal basis, Gilliam County’s total personal income rose by $2.1 million in 2017, an over-the-year gain of 2.5 percent. Looking at Gilliam County’s major income components, net earnings rose by $0.8 million in 2017 (+1.6%); dividends, interest, and rent climbed by $0.8 million (+4.3%); and transfer payments increased by $0.6 million (+3.0%). Since 2007, Gilliam County’s total personal income grew by $27.9 million or about 46 percent, slightly below Oregon’s 49 percent increase ($65.6 billion).

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