Capital Region

Saratoga County income remains highest in region

Clifton Country Road in Clifton Park is seen in a file photo.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Clifton Country Road in Clifton Park is seen in a file photo.

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, Business, News

WASHINGTON — Saratoga County ranked fourth in per-capita income among New York’s 62 counties, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Tuesday in its release of 2019 geographic economic data.

Money earned by Saratoga County’s roughly 230,000 residents equaled $72,257 per person, the BEA said, which was the most of any Capital Region county and was higher than the state ($71,717) and national ($56,490) per-capita income.

Lowest in the greater Capital Region was Washington County, with a 2019 per-capita income of $42,181, number 53 in the state.

A possible consolation: Washington County per-capita income is among the faster-rising in the state (5.1% higher in 2019 than 2018, 15th highest in New York) while Saratoga County income is among the slowest-rising (3.8%, 58th highest).

Here is the 2019 per-capita income for Capital Region counties, with rank in state and percentage increase from 2018:

  • Albany $63,037 8th 4.0%
  • Fulton $45,459 41st 4.7%
  • Montgomery $43,272 46th 4.5%
  • Rensselaer $51,356 23rd 4.2%
  • Saratoga $72,757 4th 3.8%
  • Schenectady $51,697 22nd 4.0%
  • Schoharie $43,113 49th 5.2%

In the Capital Region as well as in the state as a whole, the wealthiest counties showed the least per-capita income growth from 2018 to 2019 and the least-wealthy counties showed some of the strongest growth.

A BEA spokesman said specific circumstances in an individual county may drive or slow growth. Basic mathematics can factor in as well — per-capita income is all dollars earned by county residents divided by the number of residents. 

So if a county loses population it can record a per-capita income growth even if no one got a raise that year. Likewise, if a major employer shuts down, the per-capita income can fall even if everyone else gets a raise and no one moves away.

Wyoming County, for example, had the greatest per-capita income increase of any county in the state — 7.6% — to hit $43,176 in 2019. It lost population last year, though it also gained jobs in several sectors, including government services and waste remediation.

Here are some other highlights extracted from the 2019 BEA data:

  • New York County (Manhattan) had the highest per-capita income of any county in the state and the second-highest in the nation  — $197,847.
  • Its neighbor across the Harlem River, Bronx County, had the third-lowest income of any county: $39,711.
  • The No. 2 and No. 3 New York counties were New York City’s closest suburbs: Westchester ($113,477) and Nassau ($93,241).
  • Coming in last at No. 62 was Allegany County ($36,141).
  • Wheeler County in central Georgia had the lowest per-capita income in the nation — $19,472 — and was one of only two counties out of 3,141 nationwide below the $20,000 mark.
  • Teton County in Wyoming was highest, at $229,825 per-capita. 
  • Teton County in Idaho, meanwhile, had a per-capita income of just $40,911. The two Teton counties adjoin each other on either side of the state line but Wyoming has very low sales and property taxes and no income tax at all; a number of millionaires and billionaires have established legal residence in and around Jackson Hole, Teton County, Wyoming.

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