Booming oil, booming incomes: ND incomes nearly doubled in past decade


By Rob Port | North Dakota Bureau

NEARLY DOUBLE: Personal incomes in North Dakota have nearly doubled in the past decade due to a strong economy driven by energy development and agriculture. Chart courtesy of the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s leaders like to refer to their state as the economic envy of the nation, and the numbers seem to back them up.

According to the most recent personal income report from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, the oil-rich plains state is once again leading the nation in personal income growth.

This marks the sixth time in the past seven years North Dakota has had the fastest personal income growth in the nation.

Nationally, personal income growth slowed from 4.2 percent in 2012 to 2.6 percent in 2013, but North Dakota nearly tripled the national rate at 7.6 percent. The state also was double the second rate state, Utah, which saw 4 percent growth, according to the BEA.

West Virginia saw the slowest growth in the nation at 1.5 percent.

North Dakota’s per-capita personal yearly income is $57,084 in 2013, up from $54,871 in 2012. The state now ranks third in the nation in per capita personal income, behind only Connecticut’s $60,487 and Washington, D.C., at $74,513.

It’s been a steep climb for personal incomes in the state. The 2013 level represents a 93 percent increase from 2003 when incomes were $29,569 per capita.

“These latest statistics are more evidence that our efforts to create jobs and career opportunities are getting results,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said of the results. “We are enjoying economic growth in all regions of the state and our income growth stems from nearly every business sector.”

North Dakota has been riding a wave of aggressive energy development starting in 2006 when oil discovered in the Parshall Oil Field set off what is widely called the Bakken Oil Boom.

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