It was the first time since 2007 that the annual American Community Survey did not show a national income decline.
State estimates all mirror the nation’s drop in income between 2008 and 2012. But the numbers also suggest that some state-level income trends could be changing direction.
For Virginia, 2012 brought a steeper decline. Income fell by $1,400, or 2.2 percent. Economists said the state was particularly vulnerable to federal budget cuts and faces the specter of more this year. Income also fell by at least $400 in another eight states.
The District and 13 states saw income rise last year by at least $400, suggesting that they could have turned a corner. In another 24 states the change was less than $400; but in many, as in the nation, that may be welcome after years of declines.
About this data
This graphic shows five years of income estimates for the District and 46 states with significant change overall from 2008 to 2012. Year-to-year changes may not be statistically significant. All incomes are in 2012 dollars.
Because the ACS is a survey, its estimates are subject to a margin of error. Census recognizes changes over time as significant when statistics indicate a 90 percent confidence that the difference is real and would appear again if the survey was repeated.
By this yardstick, there were significant income increases for 2012 in Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts and Oregon. There were significant declines in Missouri and Virginia.
For the other states, annual differences in the income figures still represent the best data available. They are estimates, although less than scientifically precise, of where trends may be changing.
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau.