Incomes Set A Record At End Of Economic Boom In 2000
February 11, 2003--
The last decade’s boom years ended with a bang in Virginia,
with the state’s median income for couples rising to a record
$56,530 in 2000, according to a new study of tax data by the University
of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
median adjusted gross income (AGI) on tax returns for married couples
in 2000 increased by 5.2 percent from the previous year, or 1.8
percent after accounting for inflation, said the report’s
authors, economists John L. Knapp and Stephen C. Kulp. The median
is the level at which half of filers earned more and half earned
was the sixth year of gains in real income for Virginians, reflecting
the strong economic growth in the nation and state during the second
half of the decade.
income gains, however, may not be continuing in the current decade’s
poor national economy, the economists cautioned. The steep declines
in stock markets and the recession that began in 2001 point to a
in inflation-adjusted dollars, Virginians saw decreases in their
incomes in 1974-75, 1979-82, 1989-91 and 1993-94, Knapp and Kulp
said. All the declines except 1993-94 corresponded with national
2000, the five localities with the highest couples’ median
incomes all were in Northern Virginia: Loudoun County ($80,122),
Falls Church ($78,995), Fairfax County ($78,880), Arlington ($76,501)
and the city of Fairfax ($74,083). Northern Virginia accounted for
more than 40 percent of Virginians’ total income in 2000.
five localities with the lowest median couples’ incomes all
are counties in Southwest Virginia: Grayson ($31,413), Russell ($30,012),
Dickinson ($29,458), Buchanan ($28,604) and Lee ($27,236). About
25 percent of the couples’ tax returns in the five southwest
counties claimed less than $15,000, well below the 2000 federal
poverty level of $17,463 for a couple with two children.
an annual index of income concentration, the U.Va. study also measured
inequality in the distribution of income in 2000. The localities
with the highest disparities in incomes between wealthier and less
wealthy taxpayers in 2000 were Goochland County, the city of Richmond,
Lancaster County, the city of Williamsburg and Albemarle County.
complete report, “Virginia Adjusted Gross Income, 2000”
is available on the Web at http://www.virginia.edu/coopercenter/vastat/publications/spotlight2000.pdf
tables are shown at:ftp://ftp.virginia.edu/pub/cps/income/income.html#AGI
Reporters: for interviews or additional information please contact
John Knapp at (434) 982-5638.
Bob Brickhouse, (434) 924-6856