Washington state had the 14th-highest per-capita personal income in the country
last year, according to preliminary federal data released today.
the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, per-capita personal income in Washington
rose to $37,423 last year from $35,479 in 2005, when the state ranked 16th
Connecticut had the highest personal income last year, $49,852;
Mississippi ranked lowest, with $26,535. The national average was
Washington's 5.48 percent growth rate in per-capita personal income
in 2006 was the 15th-fastest rate among the 50 states and above the 5.2 percent
rate for the nation as a whole. Louisiana had the fastest 2006 growth rate, 25.5
percent, though that figure was distorted by hurricane damage in 2005 and
subsequent population loss and rebuilding spending.
Ok, first off, how can the print a statistic like that without any further explaination? How is per-capita income calculated? I would assume that it is a mean, but not necessarily. With some of the huge outliers we have in our state (Bill Gates and Paul Allen for example), how could the mean possibly be that low? Is this figure actually the median income and the writer of the article doesn't realize that per capita makes it sound like a mean? Or are the outliers removed before the calculation? And who is included in the calculation? Every man, woman, and child in the state, or only those that are employed?
Anyway, after I was able to get beyond that, I was still shocked by how low that figure is. I read an article a few weeks ago saying that the median house price in King County (actually it may have been just in Seattle, I can't remember for sure) was between $385,000 and $400,000. Again, that figure may be a little off, because the article listed 2 figures, one including townhouses, and one just including houses. If memory serves me correctly, it was $385,000 including townhouses. Anyway, the point of it all is, how in the world can people afford housing if their income is so low. Granted, the mean income in King County is probably significantly higher than most of the rest of the state, but still, a 2 income family is still going to have a difficult time affording a house.
So, long story short, these numbers just don't add up to me. Like I said, I couldn't stop thinking about this for half the morning. I really need to see some more concrete data, preferably split up by region. Maybe then things will make more sense. Unfortunately I'm too lazy to go look up those numbers. Plus my 360 is calling me. So hopefully I won't lose any sleep over this, but at the moment I've got some video games that need to be played.