The 3 counties' income per capita grows
Per capita personal income growth in Richmond and Columbia counties outpaced the nation and state in 2008, possibly a sign of the area's economic resilience, according to the data released Thursday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In Columbia County, per capita personal income rose 5.7 percent, while Richmond County saw a 3.3 percent increase.
That compared with a national rise of 2.9 percent in personal income from 2007 to 2008.
Aiken County trailed the national rate, with personal income increasing 1.7 percent.
Nationally, per capita personal income was $40,166 in 2008. Columbia County outperformed that number, while Richmond and Aiken counties trailed it.
Finding a central reason for personal income increases is a tough task but one explanation could be the relative stability in Augusta's economy, said Barbara Coleman, the associate dean of students and a professor at Augusta State University's Hull College of Business.
"Because our trough wasn't as deep as other statistical areas, we're recovering a little better," she said. "Our dips are lower and our highs are not so high."
Per capita personal income is determined by dividing an area's total personal income by number of residents.
Written by Erin Zureick of the Augusta Chronicle