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Low unemployment, energy sector boosts income in Oklahoma metro areas

Personal income grew in all of the nation's metropolitan areas in 2011, the federal government said. Helped by the energy sector and low unemployment, Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas were among the best performing.
by Paul Monies Published: November 27, 2012

The bureau calculates personal income by including all sources of income: wages, interest, dividends, rent, retirement payments, and government transfers such as Social Security and unemployment compensation. It then divides that number by population to come up with per capita income.

Per capita incomes in Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas both peaked in 2008 and fell sharply in 2009 as Oklahoma began feeling the effects of the national recession.

Per capita income grew in the Oklahoma City metro by 3.5 percent in 2010 and 5.9 percent in 2011, the bureau said. In Tulsa's metro area, it grew 3.8 percent in 2010 and 6.8 percent last year.

The Oklahoma City metro per capita income rose to $40,002 in 2011, the bureau said. That's up from $37,761 in 2010. Tulsa metro per capita income was $42,236 last year, up from $39,529 in 2010.

Nationally, per capita income averaged $41,560 in 2011. It ranged from a high of $78,504 in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., metro area to a low of $21,620 in McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas.

by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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Inflation takes away from purchasing power. As the cost of goods increases, then anybody who earned $30,000 last year and this year is going to feel like they're not doing as well.”

Jon Chiappe,
Deputy division director of research and economic analysis at the Oklahoma Commerce Department

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