Sherman County’s 2020 Per Capita Income Ranked Third Highest in Oregon

by Dallas Fridley

April 19, 2022

Sherman County remains rural and sparsely populated, but its per capita income ranked as Oregon’s third highest in 2020. Sherman County’s per capita income reached $66,349 in 2020, producing a gap of about $10,000 over Oregon’s $56,312. Sherman County’s total personal income reached $119.5 million with 1,801 residents, while Oregon’s totaled $238.8 billion and its population reached over 4.2 million.
Sherman County’s total personal income rose by $17.3 million in 2020, an over-the-year gain of 16.9%. Sherman County’s net earnings by place of residence provided the biggest boost, rising by $12.1 million. Transfer payments also contributed to Sherman County’s 2020 personal income growth, rising by $5.4 million. Dividends, interest, and rent didn’t help Sherman County’s bottom line, suffering a loss of $0.2 million. On a per capita basis, Sherman County’s personal income rose by $9,230 in 2020, a one-year increase of 16.2%.

Net earnings by place of residence represented 61% of Sherman County’s total personal income in 2020, at $72.8 million. On a per capita basis, Sherman County’s net earnings ranked fifth in Oregon at $40,441, producing a gap of about $7,900 compared with the state. Eight counties held a per capita net earnings advantage over Oregon, including these (in ranked order): Gilliam; Washington; Morrow; Clackamas; Sherman; Multnomah; Hood River; and Deschutes.

Dividends, interest, and rent brought in $16.2 million or 13.5% of Sherman County’s 2020 personal income. On a per capita basis, Sherman County ranked 16th among Oregon counties at $8,978, lagging Oregon by about $1,400. Eight Oregon counties held a per capita advantage over the state and two-dozen counties lagged. Deschutes County led the state, with $14,795 per capita coming from dividends, interest, and rent.
Transfer receipts represented 25.5% of Sherman County’s personal income total, reaching $30.5 million. On a per capita basis, Sherman County’s transfer receipts ranked ninth in 2020 at $16,929. Sherman County exceeded Oregon’s transfer receipts per capita by about $3,500. All but eight of 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.

Farm earnings represented a significant share of Sherman County’s earnings by place of work, reaching $25.6 million in 2020, a one-year increase of $12 million or 87.4%. Farm earnings held a 24.8% share of Sherman 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 Sherman County’s farm earnings per capita reached $14,241. Morrow County’s farm earnings per capita led Oregon, at $18,567, with Gilliam County’s $14,994 ranking second.

Sherman County’s 2020 net earnings by place of residence included a residency adjustment or outflow of $20.6 million. On a per capita basis, Sherman County’s outflow reached $11,452 in 2020 (ranking second), well above Oregon’s $1,298 outflow. Morrow County’s outflow of $13,139 per capita ranked first and Multnomah County’s $11,244 per capita ranked third. At the other end of the spectrum, Columbia County’s inflow of earnings per capita reached $15,099 in 2020, followed by Polk County’s $11,674 and Clackamas County at $10,477.

Between 2010 and 2020, Sherman County’s per capita income rose by 46.8% or $21,166 while its population increased by 1.2% or about 20 residents. Sherman County’s total personal income grew by $39.1 million or 48.7% over the decade, considerably below Oregon’s 73% increase ($100.6 billion).


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