News & Politics

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.

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.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.