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Last year was not kind to D.C.-area pocketbooks. Measured against inflation, per-capita personal income in the region dropped by 2.1 percent between 2012 and 2013, a much bigger decline than any other large metropolitan area experienced, according to a new study from the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.
As a result, the D.C. region, which since 2005 has been the country’s second-wealthiest when it comes to per-capita income, dropped to third place, slipping behind Boston.
The D.C. area’s per-capita personal income stands at $61,507 as of 2013, behind the San Francisco area’s at about $69,100 and the Boston area’s at about $61,800.
Per-capita personal income is considered an imperfect measure of an area’s well-being, given that it’s just a simple average that doesn’t take income inequality into account. Nonetheless, the figures reflect the toll that the decline in federal-government employment has taken on the region after it weathered the recession well.
The District proper has the third-highest per-capita income of any jurisdiction in the region, at $75,329, behind Arlington’s $82,736 and Alexandria’s $81,078. Culpeper, Va. comes in last, at under $38,000 per year.
D.C. is one of only five jurisdictions in the region that had a higher per-capita income in 2013 than in 2007. Nonetheless, the city experienced one of the steeper declines between 2012 and 2013, a 2.25 percent drop.
Images from the report