Virginia, Led By Loudoun County, Continues To Dominate Income Levels
Across The State
20, 2001-- Even as Virginians incomes grew
at a record pace in the last of the 1990s boom years, disparities
between rich and poor and among different regions of the state were
disturbingly pronounced, according to a University of Virginia study.
analysis of state income tax data by U.Va.s Weldon Cooper
Center for Public Service showed that the median adjusted gross
income (AGI) for married couples in 1999, the most recent figure
available, was $53,745, a record. This was a gain of 5.7 percent
above the previous year and was the fifth straight year of gains
in real income for Virginians, said the reports authors, economists
John L. Knapp and Stephen C. Kulp. (The median is the income level
at which half of those who filed taxes reported more and half reported
five localities with the highest median incomes for couples all
are in Northern Virginia and all had a heavy concentration of tax
filers in the upper income brackets. The localities are Loudoun
County ($78,798), Fairfax County ($78,168), Falls Church ($77,598),
Arlington County ($75,298), and Prince William County ($69,936).
For the first time, Loudoun surpassed Fairfax County as the states
income leader, reflecting Loudouns economic growth as part
of the Washington, D.C. technology center and its attraction of
many high-income, well-educated new residents, Knapp and Kulp said.
both Loudoun and Fairfax, well over half the tax returns were above
contrast, the five localities with the lowest incomes all
in rural western Virginia had about 25 percent of tax returns
with less than $15,000, well below the 1999 federal poverty level
of $16,895 for a family of four.
low income areas are the counties of Highland ($30,843), Russell
($29,597), Dickinson ($27,903), Buchanan ($27,894), and Lee ($26,770).
localities with the slowest income growth rates also were in western
Virginia, reflecting the continuing decline of the regions
coal mining industry.
the state, income inequality the gap between higher incomes
and lower ones continued to increase dramatically, the economists
said. An index of income concentration that measures inequality
showed a sharp increase for the fifth straight year. Part of the
growing inequality was likely due to stock market gains concentrated
in high-income households, Knapp and Kulp said. The highest income
inequality was found in Goochland County, followed by Richmond City,
Lancaster County, Williamsburg City, and Albemarle County.
full report and detailed information for all localities is on the
Cooper Center for Public Service Web site at
additional information John Knapp and Stephen Kulp may be reached
at (434) 982-5604
Bob Brickhouse, (434) 924-6856