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Indiana losing ground to average Midwesterners in real per capita personal income

A loose pile of one dollar bills.
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Indiana’s real per capita personal income in 2022 was $54,811, based on data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Real per capita personal income is a measure used by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis to help compare how far a dollar goes across different states. And Indiana’s was ninth among 12 Midwest states in 2022, one place better than the previous year.

But the Hoosier State still trails the average of its Midwest neighbors — and that divide is growing.

Indiana’s real per capita personal income in 2022 was $54,811. Andrew Bradley, Prosperity Indiana policy director, said that trails the Midwest average by a wide margin.

“Even accounting for cost of living, Hoosiers are able to buy less — by almost $10,000 — compared to the typical Midwesterner,” Bradley said.

READ MORE: Advocates: Bad policy caused Indiana’s housing crisis

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That gap is 20 percent bigger than it was a year earlier, and the widest it’s been since 2014.

Bradley said there are things state lawmakers can do to address it. He said that includes improving Indiana’s housing situation by better enforcing safety and habitability standards.

“We’re starting to hear more conversation on both sides of the aisle than we have in the past,” Bradley said.

Bradley said the state should also cap payday lending rates at 36 percent, to help curb predatory lending and keep more money in Hoosiers’ pockets.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.