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State of California Franchise Tax Board

State Reports Mixed Results on Median Income for 2010

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For Immediate Release


Sacramento – The statewide median income for all 2010 personal tax returns was $33,933, a decrease of 0.4 percent over 2009’s median income amount. For joint returns, the statewide median income was $65,772, an increase of 1.1 percent over 2009, according to information provided by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

“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 amount reported by a typical California individual or couple.

California taxpayers filed 15.5 million 2010 state income tax returns reporting $1.1 trillion in adjusted gross income. This is an increase of 0.2 percent over 2009 figures. Adjusted gross income is total income increased or reduced by specific adjustments, before taking the standard or itemized deduction.

Over the past 39 years, the Bay Area counties of Marin, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara have consistently reported the highest median incomes.  Marin County still has the highest median income for joint returns, reporting $114,060, an increase of 5.2 percent over 2009. San Mateo County ranked second with $97,459, while Santa Clara County ranked third with $97,190 and Contra Costa County ranked fourth with $86,997.

Los Angeles County taxpayers filed 25.4 percent of all 2010 income tax returns in California. They reported median incomes of $29,779 for all returns, and $57,010 for joint returns, ranking 38th and 27th respectively.

The largest percentage gain in median income for all counties was 4.5 percent, reported in Sierra County. For joint filed returns the largest increase was in Mono County, with a 6.4 percent increase.

Editor’s note: For specific county information, see the attached chart. For 1999-2008 data, visit our newsroom and look under the March 3, 2011 news release.

For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit:

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