Economy

Money Problems? Arizona Ranks 40th in Per-Capita Income

Arizona apparently deserves its reputatation as a mecca for low-paying jobs, ranking 40th in an economic analysis among states for per-capita income.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports, according to the Biz Journal this morning, that the average income for state residents if $34,999 -- "well below the national average of $40,584."

It could always be worse. Thankfully, the deep south and other western states keep Arizona from settling to the bottom. Advancing a smidgen up the ladder since 2009, we beat out the likes of Indiana, Kentucky and -- at No. 50 -- the Third World state of Mississippi.

We should strive to do better. A neat comparison of state economies in a January Economist piece shows that Arizona's country-equivalent, going by gross domestic product and other factors, is Thailand.

While it's astounding to think Arizona as a whole is as rich as a country with ten times the population, it's all relative. California, (12th on the per-capita list despite its budget problems) matches with Italy in the Economist comparison.

Yeah, we'd trade a rice bowl for a meaty panini.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.