Nominal personal incomes in the District have also tended to grow more slowly than in the United States as a whole. Since 1970, aggregate nominal income growth in the District has averaged approximately 6 percent annually; by contrast, nominal income in the United States rose roughly 7 percent through the same period. The result has been an increase in income of about 9.5 times for the District since 1970 versus an increase of about 15 times for the nation.

Income growth per person has been rather similar for the District and nation since 1970, although the gap has grown somewhat in recent years. As of 2009, annual per capita personal income was approximately $36,000 in the District, compared with $40,000 for the country as a whole.