Tax News
Statewide Median Income Up In 2011

The statewide median income for all 2011 individual tax returns was $34,684, an increase of 2.2 percent over 2010’s median income amount. For joint tax returns, the statewide median income was $68,122, an increase of 3.6 percent over 2010.

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

California taxpayers filed 15.8 million 2011 state income tax returns, reporting $1.1 trillion of adjusted gross income. This is an increase of 5.7 percent from tax year 2010 figures. Adjusted gross income is a tax term that means the total income increased or reduced by specific adjustments, before taking the standard itemized deduction.

Over the past 40 years, the Bay Area counties of Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa have consistently reported the highest median incomes. Marin County still remains the highest median income for joint tax returns, reporting $120,170, an increase of 5.4 percent over 2010. Santa Clara County ranked second with $103,019, while San Mateo County ranked third with $102,793 and Contra Costa County ranked fourth with $89,924.

Los Angeles County taxpayers filed 25.4 percent of all 2011 income tax returns in California. They reported median incomes of $30,255 for all individual tax returns and $58,859 for joint tax returns, ranking 38 and 26 respectively.

Alpine County reported the largest percentage gain in median income for all counties of 8.2 percent. For joint-filed tax returns, Trinity County reported the largest increase gain with a 7.0 percent increase.

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