State Reports on Median Income for 2002

Four Bay Area counties reported the highest median income while the median income of all state returns rose slightly in 2002, according to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

The statewide median income on all returns was $31,734, an increase of 0.2 percent over 2001's median income amount. For joint returns, the statewide median income was $57,996, a decrease of 0.6 percent from 2001.

“Median income” is the point where one-half of the tax returns are above and one-half are below the midpoint of the range of values. Median income represents the income reported by a typical California person or couple.

Californians filed nearly 14 million 2002 state income tax returns with the FTB, reporting $860.9 billion of adjusted gross income. Adjusted gross income is a tax term that means gross income minus specific tax deductions, but before Federal Schedule A itemized deductions. This is a decrease of 3.4 percent from the 2001 tax year's reported $891.1 billion.

Over the past 31 years, the Bay Area counties of Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara have consistently reported the highest median incomes. Marin County recorded the highest median income for joint returns, reporting $92,481, a decrease of 4.5 percent over 2001. Santa Clara County ranked second with $82,150, while San Mateo County ranked third with $81,259 and Contra Costa County ranked fourth with $78,670.

Los Angeles County taxpayers filed 25.9 percent of all 2002 income tax returns in California. They reported median incomes of $27,164 for all returns, and $48,798 for joint returns, ranking 39th and 33rd respectively.

The largest percentage gain in median income for all counties was 6.8 percent, reported in Alpine County. For joint returns, Alpine County again reported the largest increase of 8.4 percent.

Editor's Note: Please refer to the attached chart for specific county information. For 1999, 2000 & 2001 data, please see our Web site at /aboutftb/press/index.shtml.

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