Personal Income Growth Trailed Much of the U.S. in 2021

Personal Income: Percent Change, 2020-2021 map

Connecticut’s personal income growth was lower than much of the country in 2021, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The state’s personal income—which measures earnings, transfer receipts, and property income—grew 5.8%, ranked 42 in the nation and the third lowest in the New England region.

Connecticut’s personal income growth ranked 42nd in the country in 2021.

Connecticut’s $82,082 per capita income remains he second highest in the U.S., trailing only Massachusetts ($82,475).

However, personal income growth—a key sign of economic health—has trailed the region and the country in recent years.

A Pew Charitable Trusts report revealed that if it were not for unemployment benefits and federal assistance, Connecticut’s personal income growth would have declined in 2020.

Pew found that personal income grew 4.9% nationally between 2019 and 2020, and by 1.7% in Connecticut.

However, when public assistance was removed, personal income fell 1% nationally and 2.9% here.

Regional, U.S. Growth

New Hampshire led the region in 2021 with 9.1% growth, followed by Maine (7.2%), Massachusetts (6.5%), Connecticut, Rhode Island (5.5%), and Vermont (4.5%). 

The national rate was 7.4%.

Slower-than-expected growth in key industries illustrates that Connecticut’s pandemic recovery is far from complete.

Connecticut saw smaller growth in transfer receipts from the federal government, which in 2021 largely represented COVID relief and unemployment payments.

Healthcare, professional services, and retail trade led all Connecticut sectors in personal income growth last year.

However, slower-than-expected growth in key industries contributed to the state’s overall lagging rate, illustrating that Connecticut’s pandemic recovery is far from complete. 


The state’s critical manufacturing sector experienced the second slowest growth in the New England region, with durable goods growing 0.1% and nondurable goods increasing just 0.13%. 

The finance and insurance and real estate sectors also underperformed.

“It’s critical that state lawmakers understand what our residents and businesses need.”

“It’s disheartening to see Connecticut lagging behind its neighbors and the rest of the country, particularly in some of our state’s most important sectors,” CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said.

“At a time the state is facing swelling job openings and no one to fill them, this report just reinforces Connecticut’s economic struggles.

“It’s critical that state lawmakers understand what our residents and businesses need, and implement legislation that will ease their burden and drive our economic recovery.”

Idaho Posts Best Growth

Net earnings growth in Connecticut ranked 41st in the nation last year and the slowest in the New England region.

Dividends, interest, and rent were 18th in the country and second in the New England region behind Massachusetts.

Net earnings growth ranked 41st in the nation last year and the slowest in the New England region.

Transfer receipts ranked 40th in the country and second highest in the New England region behind Maine.

Idaho led all states in personal income growth at 9.6%, followed by South Dakota (9.5%), Florida (9.4%), Nebraska (9.3%), and New Hampshire.

Vermont (4.5%) had the slowest growth in the country last year, followed by Michigan (5.2%), New York (5.3%), Pennsylvania (5.3%), and Wyoming (5.5%).


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