The average personal income of Mainers rose 3.7 percent from 2016 to 2017 to $46,455, ranking the state 30th in income and reversing sluggish wages in previous years as the economy improved, according to statistics released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The average income, or per capita personal income, is the total income of an area divided by its population. The 2017 numbers are the most recent available.
The national average of $51,640 was up 3.6 percent from 2016 to 2017, putting Maine slightly ahead of the country’s overall growth rate. Maine’s growth rate also topped the 3.1 percent in Vermont, which has an average income of $52,225 in 2017. But it lagged New Hampshire’s 4.5 percent increase from 2016 to 2017, when that state’s average income hit $59,668.
The broadest range in the United States In 2017 was an average income of $11,937 in Issaquena County, Mississippi, to $233,860 in Teton County, Wyoming. Per capita personal income exceeded $100,000 in 12 counties, including Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Over a 10-year period starting in 2007, a year before the recession, Maine’s average income was $35,614, ranking the state 34th nationally. Income, compounded annually, grew 2.7 percent, again slightly more than the 2.6 percent nationally.
Maine also saw average income increases in metropolitan statistical areas including Penobscot County, where the average income rose 3.2 percent from 2016 to 2017 to reach $39,885. That ranked the county, which includes Bangor and Brewer, 284th in the United States among metropolitan statistical areas.
The metropolitan statistical area including Androscoggin County and Lewiston-Auburn saw average income rises of 3.9 percent to $39,873 in 2017, ranking it 285th in the areas nationwide.
The highest average income growth was in the area including Cumberland, Sagadahoc and York counties, and the cities of Portland and South Portland. It rose 4.1 percent to $54,603 in 2017 to rank it 49th among metropolitan statistical areas.
Among Maine counties, Cumberland also experienced the greatest growth from 2016 to 2017 of 4.3 percent to $58,654. It also grew soundly from 2015 to 2016, when it was up 3.6 percent from $54,270 to $56.223.
Piscataquis County had the lowest average income in 2017 at $36,224. However, it had the highest growth rate of all Maine counties, rising to 3.7 percent in 2017 compared to -0.3 percent in 2016.