Income, personal

Personal Income is the income that is received by persons from all sources. It is calculated as the sum of wages and salaries, supplements to wages and salaries, proprietors' income with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments, rental income of persons with capital consumption adjustment, personal dividend income, personal interest income, and personal current transfer receipts, less contributions for government social insurance.

The personal income of an area is the income that is received by, or on behalf of, all the individuals who live in the area; therefore, the estimates of personal income are presented by the place of residence of the income recipients.

What makes up BEA's personal income estimates, and where does this data originate from?

  • Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), data series from the administration of the state unemployment insurance system reported by each state. The data, which are provided to BEA by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, include quarterly wages and salaries and monthly employment by county and industry. This makes up 95% of wages, and wages is more than 50% of personal income.
  • Internal Revenue Service data from the Federal income tax program
  • U.S. Department of Defense data
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture data
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration
  • Federal agencies and state sources for personal current transfer receipts