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Bay area counties lead California in 2005 median income

FTB's statistics on the statewide median income for all personal income tax returns show an increase of 2.7 percent in 2005, and 4.1 percent for joint returns.

Four Bay Area counties again top California's 2005 median income report. For the past 34 years, the counties of Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara have consistently reported the highest median incomes.

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 income values. Median income represents the income reported by a typical California individual or couple.

Taxpayers filed 14.8 million 2005 California income tax returns with the FTB, reporting slightly more than $1 trillion of adjusted gross income, minus specific tax deductions before Federal Schedule A itemized deductions. This is an increase of 4.2 percent over 2004 figures.

Marin County still has the highest median income for joint returns, reporting $107,856 - an increase of 8 percent from 2004. San Mateo County ranked second with $89,672 (4.3 percent increase), Santa Clara County ranked third with $89,618 (4.6 percent increase), and Contra Costa County ranked fourth with $83,605 (3.5 percent increase).

Los Angeles County taxpayers filed 25.6 percent of all 2005 income tax returns in California. They reported median incomes of $29,551 for all returns (ranking 39), and $54,583 for joint returns (ranking 32).

The largest percentage gain in median income for all counties was 9.4 percent, reported in Yuba County. For joint filed returns the largest increase was also in Yuba County, showing an 11.3 percent increase. Alpine County was the 2004 leader in median income percentage gain, and ranked seventh in 2005.

Curious about your county's position in the ranking? Check out the 2005 report.