Oregon #3 poorest state for real after-tax income

By Bob Clark, Economist
Guest submission for Taxpayers Association of Oregon Foundation,
The above chart is of per person real after-tax income by selected state (after-tax income adjusted by the state’s relative cost of living). It is compiled from U.S Bureau of Economics, a department of the Federal government, data (released on December 14, 2023).

Oregon is in the middle of the pack for per capita income-before-taxes, but Oregon’s taxes and relatively high cost of living reduce its ranking for individual prosperity to the third poorest among the 50 states, as shown in the above graph.

Washington and California rank in the top 16 for real after-tax incomes, helped no doubt by their base of global technology giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon. But Washington and California are plagued by high living costs, also. California is maybe the case of there being ultra rich people walled off from high amounts of poverty.

North Dakota is resource rich while being relatively sparsely populated. North Dakota’s Agriculture sector is aided by the ethanol mandate and then also the state is enriched by the Bakken Shale oil fields. The sparse population maybe contributes to a relatively low cost of living in the state, too.