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Texas Shows Strong Gains in Personal Income in 2011

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Personal income—defined as “income received by persons from all sources”—rose in all of the nation’s 366 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) during 2011, marking the first time that has happened since 2007, according to yesterday’s press release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Statistically speaking, the BEA estimates that personal income across all MSAs grew by an average of 5.2 percent, up from 3.9 percent the prior year. The nation’s per capita personal income (personal income divided by population) clocked in $41,560 for 2011, up 4.4 percent from the prior year.

Good as those numbers are, Texas performed much better.

Consider that personal income in Texas as a whole rose 6.8 percent in 2011, nearly a percent-and-a-half faster than the national average. In addition, all of Texas’ major MSAs outperformed the national average: the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos MSA (+7.2 percent); the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA (+6.2 percent); the El Paso MSA (+7.2 percent); the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown MSA (+ 7.9 percent); and the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA (+6.5 percent).

The BEA even estimated that per capita personal income in Texas, estimated at $40,147, rose more quickly than elsewhere—5 percent vs. 4.4 percent.

It’s getting harder and harder to ignore the special things happening in Texas.