Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Per Capita Income Up 2.4% in '91

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Per Capita Income Up 2.4% in '91

Article excerpt

Associated Press Oklahomans' per capita income rose 2.4 percent in 1991, slightly above the national average but below the average for the other three Southwest states, according to figures released Wednesday.

Oklahoma ranked 40th nationally with a per capita income of $15,827, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. Nationwide, personal income totaled $19,082 per person, just 2.1 percent more than in 1990.

That marked a growth rate only slightly more than half last year's 4.1 percent inflation rate as measured by the department's index for personal expenditures.

It was the first time since 1982 that growth in income per capita nationwide failed to keep pace with rising prices. It also was the third consecutive annual decline in the growth rate.

It also was the slowest growth since per capita incomes rose just 1 percent in 1958, the first year of a recession.

Moreover, it was the third consecutive annual decline in the growth rate. Each year of the Bush administration has seen smaller income growth than the year before. Per capita incomes grew 5.4 percent in 1990, 6.9 percent in 1989 and 7.1 percent in 1988.

The income figures also showed the continuing reversal of a mid-1980s trend, dubbed the bicoastal economy, of incomes growing faster on the East and West coasts than in the country's heartland.

The Southwest, which includes Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, had per capita income of $18,845, up 3.3 percent from 1990.

The sluggishness was much more widely dispersed than in previous years. In 1990, 40 states reported slower income growth than the previous year. Twenty-five states reported a slowdown in 1989.

States that registered income gains of 1 percent or less last year were: Rhode Island, 0.2 percent; Nevada and Maine, 0.7 percent; New Hampshire, 0.9 percent, and Idaho, 1 percent. …

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