By Kenneth Harwood

Economist, Solvang Chamber of Commerce

Santa Barbara County led our three-county area in per capita personal income in 2017. The chart shows estimates of those incomes.

Per capita personal income was calculated with dollars of total personal income divided by population. Personal income included net earnings; dividends, interest, and rent; and transfer income such as that from Social Security.

Yearly per capita personal incomes were similar in California ($59,776), Santa Barbara County ($59,460), and Ventura County ($59,178). San Luis Obispo County ($55,328) followed, and the United States ($51,640) was smaller.

Much of the difference between the United States and places in California seemed to be related to the higher prices of land and buildings in California’s coastal economic zone.

Retailers and others might find in these incomes a basis for seeking customers through advertising and promotion. 

California had larger per capita personal income than that in Santa Barbara County. After the recession of 2007-2009, per capita personal income grew faster in the state than in the county. California and the three coastal counties led the United States in 2017.

For more details, go online to U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, use the Tools tab to get to BEARFACTS, and then sort the data by county.