State personal income is a measure that includes earnings, property income, and government benefits and, on a year-over-year basis, it grew an average of 4.4 percent from 2014 to 2015, The Wall Street Journal reports, which was the same growth rate as the previous year.
The driving factors behind this growth were construction and service-sector earnings, especially in the Southeast and along the West Coast. Plummeting commodity prices, however, bogged down states with a heavy reliance on farming or energy sectors.
Construction earnings grew the fastest in Nevada and Utah, and the sector as a whole increased for the fifth straight year. Earnings for the construction sector are now higher than their previous peak prior to the Great Recession. The construction industry isn’t alone, though, as earnings grew in 21 of the 24 industries tracked by the Commerce Department. In addition to the construction sector, the professional and business services and healthcare sectors contributed the most to overall income growth.
Mining and farming did not fare so well. Mining declined 5.2 percent nationally and took a large piece out of personal income growth for North Dakota, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. Farming earnings declined by 21.9 percent nationally and was the biggest detractor from personal income growth in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.
On a state-by-state basis, California and Texas remain the two wealthiest states. California’s overall income topped the $2 trillion mark and Texas came in a distant second with an income nearing $1.3 trillion.
Led by California, the Western section of the U.S. saw the fastest income growth with Oregon, Utah, and Nevada acting as major contributors, as well. The Northeast was the wealthiest region per capita with Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York leading the way.
To view how income ranked in each state, follow the link below.