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State of California Franchise Tax Board

State Reports on Median Income for 2001

California taxpayers reported a 10 percent decrease in adjusted gross income on their 2001 state income tax returns, according to the Franchise Tax Board.

Californians filed nearly 14.2 million 2001 state income tax returns, reporting nearly $891.1 billion of adjusted gross income. Adjusted gross income is an income tax term that means gross income minus specific tax deductions. It marks a 10.3 percent decrease over 2000's reported $993.5 billion.

The statewide median income on all returns was $31,666, an increase of 1.7 percent over 2000's median income amount. For joint returns, the statewide median income was $58,341, an increase of 0.6 percent over the 2000 income amount.

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

Over the past 30 years, the Bay Area counties of Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Contra Costa have consistently reported the highest median incomes. Marin County again had the highest median income for joint returns, reporting $96,826, a decrease of 4.8 percent over 2000. Santa Clara County ranked second with $87,781, while San Mateo County ranked third with $84,367, and Contra Costa County ranked fourth with $79,989.

Los Angeles County taxpayers filed 25.9 percent of all tax returns in California. They reported median incomes of $26,909 for all returns, and $48,801 for joint returns, ranking 37th and 33rd respectively.

The largest percentage gain in median income for all counties was 9.1 percent reported in Alpine County. For joint returns the largest gain was in Sierra County with a 6.1 percent increase.

Editor's Note: Please refer to the attached chart for specific county information.

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