State Reports on Median Income for 2006

Released April 25, 2008

Bay Area Counties have led California for 35 years

The statewide median income for all personal income tax returns rose to $35,390 (3.7 percent over 2005), while the median income listed on joint returns rose to $66, 810 (5.1 percent over 2005) according to statistics released today by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

Four Bay Area counties again top California’s 2006 median income report. Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties have consistently reported the highest median incomes.

“Fifty seven out of 58 counties reported income growth in 2006, a year when consumer spending was up and unemployment remained low in California,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang.

“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 individual or couple.

California taxpayers filed 15.1 million 2006 state income tax returns reporting $1.2 trillion in adjusted gross income, a 9.4 percent increase over 2005 figures. Adjusted gross income is a figure taken from tax returns that reports total income after specific tax deductions are subtracted.

Marin County still has the highest median income for joint returns, reporting $116,626, an increase of 8.1 percent over 2005. Santa Clara County ranked second this year with $95,457, San Mateo County ranked third with $95,394, Contra Costa County ranked fourth with $87,478, and El Dorado County ranked fifth with $78,489.

Los Angeles County taxpayers filed 25.5 percent of all 2006 income tax returns in California. They reported median incomes of $30,822 for all returns, and $57,725 for joint returns, ranking 39th and 31st, respectively.

The largest percentage gain in median income for all counties was 8.5 percent, reported in Mono County. For joint filed returns, the largest increase was in San Francisco County with an 8.8 percent increase.

Editor’s note: For specific county information, see the attached chart. For 1999-2005 data, please go to for previous news releases.

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