New Personal Income Data for Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties

by Pat O'Connor

February 12, 2018

Several months ago, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released new estimates of per capita personal income (PCPI) by county. Personal income data is not among the most current economic indicators – the “new” county estimates are for 2016. Despite the time lag in producing personal income data, they are still valuable for evaluating a county’s economic health.
Personal income data includes wage and salary income, but it also includes other sources of income. One of these income sources is transfer payments from the government. Transfer payments include social security income, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid, welfare income, and student grants and loans received from the government. Personal income also includes dividends, interest, and rent that people receive. Farm income is another component captured in personal income data.
The first graph shows Marion, Yamhill and Polk counties compared with Oregon and the nation in terms of per capita personal income. Yamhill ($39,974), Marion ($38,168), and Polk ($37,818) have per capita income levels that lag behind Oregon and the nation.

The second graph illustrates the short-term and long-term percentage change in per capita personal income in Polk, Marion and Yamhill counties, Oregon, and the United States. The short-term change is shown by looking at the over-the-year percent change from 2015 to 2016. All three counties had a gain in PCPI from 2015 to 2016. Polk County’s PCPI grew 2.0 percent from 2015 to 2016, slower than Oregon (2.4%) but faster than the U.S. (1.6%). Marion County’s PCPI grew 2.2 percent, just slightly faster than Polk County. Yamhill County’s PCPI grew 1.5 percent in 2016, the slowest of the three counties. The long-term trend in PCPI is captured by looking at the annual average percent change from 1969 to 2016. Over that period, Polk (5.5%), Marion (5.3%) and Yamhill (5.4%) counties have all tracked slightly slower long-term income growth compared with the U.S. and Oregon, which both grew 5.6 percent.

The third graph shows the PCPI for Oregon, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties, as a percentage of U.S. PCPI. In 2016 Oregon’s PCPI was 92.2 percent of the U.S. PCPI. Yamhill County’s PCPI was 81.2 percent of the U.S. PCPI in 2016. Marion and Polk counties’ percentages in 2016 were 77.5 percent and 76.8 percent, respectively.    

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