Cooper Center Report Shows Lower Real Income for Married Couples
Income Declined In 2001 After Adjustment For Inflation
February 11, 2004 --
A rising tide of prosperity for married couples
in Virginia ended in 2001, according to a new study of state tax
data by the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper
Center for Public Service.
median adjusted gross income for married couples rose from
$56,530 in 2000 to $57,619 in 2001, but the growth rate
of 1.9 percent failed to keep pace with
an annual inflation rate of 2.8 percent, the study showed. In constant dollars,
the median adjusted gross income fell by 0.9 percent in 2001, the first year
of loss after six straight years of gains, according to the report co-written
by economist John L. Knapp and research specialist Stephen C. Kulp.
2001 the five localities with the highest couples' median
all were in Northern Virginia: Loudoun County ($80,759),
Fairfax County ($78,927), Falls
Church City ($78,654), Arlington ($76,566) and the City of Alexandria ($75,145).
Metropolitan Northern Virginia accounted for a significant portion of the
total income — 42 percent of Virginians' total adjusted gross income
in 2001 — up from 36 percent a decade earlier.
of the five localities with the lowest median couples' incomes
are counties in Southwest Virginia:
Lee ($27,971), Buchanan ($30,676), Grayson ($31,193),
and Dickinson ($31,355). The other, Highland County ($31,250), is situated
in the Alleghany Highlands. About 25 percent of the couples in these five
counties reported incomes of less than $15,000, well below the 2001 federal
of $17,960 for a couple with two children.
U.Va. study includes an index of income concentration, which
estimates statewide income
inequality. After rising for nine years, showing increasing
inequality, the index dropped in 2000 and in 2001.
main reason for the drop was the reversal of fortune for
persons who had previously benefited from the stock market
boom,” said Knapp, director
of business and economics research at the Cooper Center.
index of income concentration fell by 2.4 percent from 2000
The localities with the highest disparities in incomes
between the low
taxpayers in 2001 were Goochland County, Williamsburg City, Richmond
City, Lancaster County and Charlottesville City.
complete report, "Virginia
Adjusted Gross Income, 2001," is available
on the Web at: http://www.virginia.edu/coopercenter/vastat/income/agi01rn.pdf.
Detailed tables showing information for each city, county, planning
district, and metropolitan area are available at: http://www.virginia.edu/coopercenter/vastat/income/income.html#AGI.
For more information, call John Knapp at (434) 982-5638.
Charlotte Crystal, (434) 924-6858