New Jersey has retained the second highest ranking in the nation in per-capita personal income, according to the latest figures from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.
At $49,511 during 2007, the last year for which data are available, New Jersey held its ranking behind perennial leader Connecticut, with per-capita personal income of $54,981. Those figures compare to a national average of $38,615.
New Jerseyans per-capita income rose 5.8 percent during that year, keeping roughly the same margin over the national figure, as measured by the bureau of the U.S Department of Commerce.Personal income includes all sources. It is the sum of net income by place of residence, rental income, personal dividend and interest income and personal current transfer receipts.
But the average obscures large differences within the state and country. Nationally, the wealthiest county was the resort area of Teton, Wyoming, with $132,728 per capita. The poorest was Loup County, Nebraska, at $8,579. Loup had only 712 residents in the 2000 Census.
Within New Jersey, higher incomes are clustered in the north-central counties. The bureau found top-rated Morris County had $71,713, or almost two-and-a-half times the per-capita income of Cumberland, which ranked last with $29,599. Morris regularly ranks among the wealthiest counties in the nation in a variety of economic measures.
Other studies have found wide disparities in personal income along class and racial lines. In an analysis of 2005 Internal Revenue Service data, two professors at the University of California, Berkeley, found the wealthiest 330,000 Americans received nearly as much income as the bottom 150 million. The income gap was the largest since 1928.
Since the new report reflects 2007 conditions, it does not measure the effects of the current recession. Other reports issued by the bureau show declines in personal income during the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first two months of this year.