A new report said New Hampshire enjoyed the seventh-highest per-capita personal income among the states in 2017 at $59,668, compared to the national average of $51,640.
The state saw a 13 percent gain between 2007 to 2017 after adjusting for inflation and during a time in which it recovered from the Great Recession, according to the report.
“I think most importantly it speaks to the dynamic nature and vibrancy of New Hampshire’s economy,” economist Brian Gottlob of Dover said Monday. “The state continues to develop and attract new and innovative companies and industries. That is really the key.
“Technologies change, business and even entire industries can come and go and any state that consistently is able to develop and/or attract new and innovative companies and industries is going to have an economy that continually adapts and reinvents itself even after recessions,” Gottlob said.
The per-capita income figure doesn’t mean merely how much people collected in wages but includes such things as employers’ contributions to health care coverage and pensions as well as government benefits and court settlements, according to the report’s author, Anita Josten, an economist at the state Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau.
In Rockingham County, the growth rate was 20.1 percent after inflation, with a per-capita figure of $70,788 in 2017 — more than $10,000 above the state average.
“Rockingham has a high percentage of its labor force that works in Massachusetts and a lot of those commuters are in high-paying jobs,” said Gottlob, who noted the Massachusetts wages are included in the calculations for New Hampshire residents.
“Other contributing factors relate to the components of personal income, especially the interest, dividends and rent portion of personal income,” Gottlob said. “Counties with higher per-capita personal income include more higher-income individuals who are more likely to have income gains from interest, dividends and rent.”
Gottlob said high housing and rental costs helped places such as Rockingham County because included in the personal income numbers is an estimate of how much people would earn on housing if they rented it out instead of living in it, minus housing expenses.
According to the New Hampshire Realtors Association, the median price of a single-family home in Rockingham County grew by $34,000 or 10.8 percent between 2007 and 2017. Statewide, the mean price rose by $5,200 or 2 percent.
Not all counties grew at the same rate.
“What surprised me was some of the smaller counties had better growth rates than the larger counties,” Josten said.
Belknap County came in as a strong second place to Rockingham at 19.5 percent.
Merrimack County, which includes Concord, increased by 1.8 percent after inflation while Hillsborough County, which includes Manchester and Nashua, rose by 8.2 percent.
By dollars, Hillsborough finished second, at $60,064, followed by Grafton at $59,356. Coos County finished last at $41,866.
“Coos had a couple of thousand fewer jobs in 2017 than in 2007, so total wages and salaries even with rising wages did not increase and when you adjust for inflation, they fall,” Gottlob said. “Merrimack had slow job growth (3.6 percent between 2007 and 2017) and no growth in goods-producing industries that have higher wages.”