Sherman County’s Per Capita Income Dropped by Nearly Two Percent in 2017

by Dallas Fridley

March 14, 2019

In 2017, Sherman County ranked as Oregon’s second smallest based on population, ranking 35th. Despite a small, rural population base, Sherman County actually exceeded Oregon’s per capita income in 2017, ranking sixth at $48,609, producing a gap of nearly $500 over Oregon’s $48,137. While maintaining a small income advantage over Oregon, Sherman County’s per capita income actually fell by 1.9 percent in 2017. Washington County’s per capita income led the state in 2017, at $57,331. On a nominal basis, Sherman County’s personal income totaled $85.5 million in 2017 with 1,758 residents (+2.3%), while Oregon’s totaled $199.4 billion and its population rose to 4,142,776.
Net earnings by place of residence accounted for nearly 53 percent of Sherman County’s personal income in 2017, at $45.3 million. Sherman County ranked 10th per capita at $25,752, falling about $3,500 shy of Oregon’s $29,245. Only five counties, including Washington, Clackamas, Multnomah, Hood River, and Deschutes, held an advantage in net earnings.

Dividends, interest, and rent brought in $17.4 million or about 20 percent of Sherman County’s 2017 personal income total. Sherman County ranked 11th per capita at $9,895, exceeding Oregon’s $9,793 by about $100. 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.
Sherman County’s transfer receipts totaled $22.8 million in 2017, representing nearly 27 percent of its personal income total. On a per capita basis, Sherman County ranked fifth in Oregon, at $12,962, nearly $3,900 above Oregon’s $9,100. 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.

Sherman County’s per capita personal income lost ground in 2017, falling by $936 or 1.9 percent. Although Sherman County’s per capita income fell in 2017, its population total rose by 2.4 percent or 41 residents to 1,758. Over the decade, Sherman County’s population rose by just 2.6 percent, while Oregon’s rose by 11.3 percent. Sherman County’s per capita income ranked first in Oregon from 2012 to 2014, but its ranking slipped in each of the next three years, falling to third in 2015, fifth in 2016, and sixth in 2017. Over the decade, Sherman County’s per capita income rose by 40.6 percent or $14,047, well above Oregon’s 33.9 percent.

On a nominal basis, Sherman County produced a personal income gain of just $0.4 million in 2017. Sherman County’s net earnings fell by $1.1 million (-2.4%). Dividends, interest, and rent rose by $0.7 million (+4.2%) and transfer payments increased by $0.8 million (+3.6%). Since 2007, Sherman County produced a total personal income gain of $26.3 million or about 44 percent, below Oregon’s 49 percent or $65.6 billion increase.


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