We're still No. 1 among Carolinas cities for making money.
But the Charlotte region's per capita personal income slipped in the latest national rankings. In addition, the growth in Charlotte-area residents' incomes last year was among the worst in the nation, according to federal estimates released Thursday.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated the personal income – total earnings before taxes – in 363 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas. Per capita income was calculated by dividing the total income of a region's residents by the area population.
Topping the list at $80,192 per person in 2007 was the Bridgeport, Conn., area near New York City, followed by Naples, Fla., and San Francisco. At the bottom were three Texas border towns: Laredo, Brownsville and – the lowest at $18,320 – McAllen.
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Charlotte's per capita personal income of $39,004 placed it 69th, down from 55th a year earlier and just ahead of Durham at No. 73 and Raleigh at No. 76.
As for making more money than the previous year, Charlotte saw only a 2.2 percent increase in per capita income from 2006 to 2007. That made the region a lowly 349th, and the only Carolinas metro area with slower growth was Myrtle Beach at 1.3 percent.
Charlotte's dropoff – after 4.8 percent growth in 2005 and 4.3 percent in 2006 – likely is a result of an influx of new and younger residents, who usually earn less income, said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wachovia.
“I doubt it becomes a trend,” he said.
Income growth probably will pick up next year as new arrivals become more entrenched, he said.
*Per capita, based on metro area population