DAYTON — Ohio’s per capita personal income rose at one of the fastest rates in the nation last year, a sign that the state’s economy is recovering more quickly than most of the country, according to data analyzed by the Dayton Daily News.
Per capita personal income — which includes all earnings such as wages, dividends, interest income, and rents — increased by 1.7 percent to $39,289 between 2011 and 2012. It was a larger percentage increase than all but one other state.
Ohioans on average have a little more money in their pocketbooks, and that leads to more spending, saving, repayment on debt, and increased demand for goods and services.
Incomes continue to benefit from the revival of the manufacturing industry and the emergence of the oil and gas sector, experts said.
“It is good news that our per capita income is increasing at all, and it is even better news that it is increasing so fast,” said James Brock, professor of economics at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. “Ohio for once is leading the country out of recession, rather than lagging it and being last to the recovery party.”
Per capita personal income is the total amount of income earned by a state’s residents divided by the state’s population. Ohio’s 11.5 million residents received $453.6 billion in personal income in 2012.
North Dakota was the only state that experienced a larger percentage increase in personal income (7.6 percent) than Ohio.
Ohio still lags behind 29 states in per capita personal income, but the economic indicator does not account for variations in living costs, which can skew the numbers.
Connecticut topped the list with an average personal income of $58,908. Mississippi was at the bottom, averaging $33,073.