DC Far Ahead of Nation in Personal Income

The average District resident earned 70 percent more than the average American in 2012, according to a new economic report.

By: Benjamin Freed

Despite a recent slowdown in income growth, DC residents are still well ahead of the rest of the United States when it comes to average takehome pay. The average District resident earned $74,733 in 2012, 70 percent over the national per capita income of $43,725, according to an economic trend report released yesterday by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

Overall, the District’s 632,000 residents earned $47.28 billion last year, combining wages, salaries, employee benefits, proprietary income, property income, and other payments like Social Security. Even taking out non-salary income, DC is still far ahead of the national pace, with a per capita wage income of $36,794, compared to $20,656 for the nation.

The relative strength of District residents’ incomes can be accredited to the private sector. Recent federal budget cuts have trimmed about $350 million from DC’s overall income, according to the CFO’s report.

Of course, not everyone is sharing in the growth. Although the average household income for the entire District was $118,384 in 2011, according to Census figures, the parts of the city that lie east of the Anacostia River lag far behind. The average household income was $57,080 in Ward 7, and $42,923 in Ward 8.