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Rowan County’s per capita personal income increased 2.1 percent in 2016

SALISBURY — Personal income increased 2.1 percent in Rowan County in 2016, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In a report released Nov. 17, the bureau reported income growth nationwide. Income grew in 2,285 counties, fell in 795 and was unchanged in 33, according to the report.

Rowan County’s change falls within national norms. The report found that personal income rose an average of 2.5 percent in metropolitan areas and 1 percent in rural areas.

The changes ranged from a loss of 40.8 percent in Kenedy County, Texas, to an gain of 27.1 percent in Tillman County, Oklahoma.

The report defines personal income as “the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons (within a county) from all sources.” That includes earnings from wages, personal investments and other ventures.

Per-capita personal income is personal income divided by the population.

In North Carolina, per-capita personal income was $39,558 in 2014, $41,378 in 2015, and $42,244 in 2016, meaning the state also saw a 2.1 percent increase in 2016.

In Rowan County, per-capita personal income was $32,931 in 2014, $34,592 in 2015 and $35,307 in 2016. That’s a 7.1 percent increase since 2014.

Rowan’s per-capita personal income is ranked 52nd among 100 North Carolina counties. The 2016 average trails No. 51, Person County, by just $52.

Surrounding counties saw single-year increases ranging from 3.9 percent in Stanly to 0.8 percent in Davie. Cabarrus County had an increase of 2.5 percent; Iredell, 1.4 percent; and Davidson, 1 percent.

Rowan’s ranking continues to trail surrounding counties. Iredell was ranked 10th; Davie, 15th; Cabarrus, 22nd; Stanly, 46th; and Davidson, 49th.

Iredell County’s per-capita personal income for 2016 was $45,817.

Orange County ranks the highest in North Carolina with an average income of $58,438.

Statewide, counties with the best and worst changes were Onslow, gaining 7.1 percent, and Cherokee, losing 0.6 percent.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that numbers released in the report are estimates. Final income numbers for states and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released in May.

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