The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership says per capita personal income continues to grow in the region, but at a slower rate than in recent years and not as quickly as the country. The nonprofit’s report, which is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, found that from 2018 to 2019, PCPI in the region grew 1.5%, compared to the nation’s rate of 3.5% and the region’s 3.7% growth between 2017 and 2018.

According to the report, more than $34.5 billion of total personal income circulated in the region’s five counties in 2019, an increase of over $500 million of total personal income compared to 2018.

“Putting the data in a national context, the South Bend – Elkhart region’s per capita personal incomes are below the national averages, possibly due to a lower cost of living,” said Indiana University South Bend Professor of Economics Dr. Hong Zhuang. “And the local income growth rates are also lower than the national average growth rate.”

The partnership says the region’s 2019 PCPI was more than $47,000, which is nearly 84% of the national PCPI.

“The South Bend – Elkhart region is in year four of an eight-year Regional Economic Development Strategy focused on Industry Growth, Entrepreneurship, Workforce Development, Talent Retention, and Inclusion, with the ultimate goal being to match or exceed national per capita income by 2025,” said South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership President Regina Emberton. “The slowing pace of per capita personal income growth in 2019 reemphasizes the need for critical investments that will ensure long-term economic sustainability.”

The South Bend – Elkhart region includes Elkhart, Marshall, and St. Joseph counties in northern Indiana and Berrien and Cass counties in Michigan.

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