Here is an interactive infographic showing US Per Capita Personal Income since 1969. These figures have been adjusted for inflation and provide some insight on the relative economic health/performance of each state.
It will be most interesting if you switch from the bubble graph to the bar graph — see the tabs at the top right-hand corner of the chart.
To start, click the box for the “nation” on the right-hand side for a good frame of reference.
Now, just click the states you want to see and hit play to see how they change over time.
1969-2008 State Annual Personal Income, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
Here are a few basic observations:
Perhaps the most noticeable trend is the dramatic increase in personal income in Washington DC. The nation’s capital began to rise above all other states in the early part of this decade. By 2008, the last year for our data, DC’s per capita income ($66,119) is nearly $10,000 more than the second state on the list, Connecticut ($56,272).
When the Rust Belt states (e.g., Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, etc.) are isolated, there’s a somewhat steep decline in income compared to the nation.
Alaska is an interesting state to follow. By the mid-1970s, it dwarfed all other states in terms of earnings (as high as almost $46,000 in 1976). But it has since fallen to No. 9 on the list.
Half of the bottom 10 states on this list are in the South. Mississippi is ranked last with 2008 personal income at $30,399.