Personal Income by Gregg Motley


The personal income of Bourbon County residents is of keen importance to all of us.  It determines the relative success of most of our businesses around town and sets limits on prices of real estate and the taxes that can be collected.  The Kansas Statistical Abstract of 2020 accumulates personal income by county and by category.  Here are some interesting observations from the data:

  • At the 2020 census, 14,360 people lived in Bourbon County, a 5.36% drop from the last census. Of that number, approximately 8,200 of us are in the working age category of 19 to 64 years old.
  • Total personal income for Bourbon County in 2019 was approximately $521.4 million. That breaks down to $63.6 thousand per working age adult and $36.3 thousand for every man, woman and child.
  • Transfer payments (welfare, SNAP, grants and other government funding) totaled $149.4 million in 2019.
  • Social Security payments were right at $48 million in 2019, which equals about $19.2 thousand per person who is 65 and over. Of course, some recipients receive benefits before age 65, some delay enrollment.
  • Wages and supplemental payments, such as bonuses, commissions, etc., totaled $323.8 million which is about $39.6 thousand per working age adult.

How do we compare to other counties in Kansas?  Here is a sampling from 2019; all dollar numbers in thousands:




Wages & Supplemental Income Government Transfer Payments Social Security Benefits Total Personal Income1 Working Pop. Inc. Per Worker
Allen $296,666 $146,008 $40,445 $387,880 7,290 $53.2
Bourbon $323,779 $149,354 $47,926 $521,372 8,195 $63.6
Crawford $901,996 $369,137 $120,537 $1,175,367 24,825 $47.3
Linn $131,062 $102,236 $19,664 $295,710 5,515 $53.6
Neosho $332,554 $171,583 $45,974 $489,898 9,208 $36.1
Johnson $27,359,539 $4,116,592 $3,580,912 $41,790,275 382,994 $109.1
Segwick $13,868,770 $4,218,486 $2,278,809 $23,429,298 321,628 $72.8

(1) All income earned, excluding government payments.

Two major points about Bourbon County: 1) Our earned personal income compared to working age adults is the best in the five county area. 2) Our percentage of working age adults compare to total population is last in the five county area at 57.1%. We have a higher than usual population under age 18 and older than 64.  The highest percentage of working population in the five county area is Crawford at 63.7%.  This is statistical proof that compensation is better in Bourbon County, which is why upwards of 2,800 workers commute to our county from other jurisdictions.  When it comes to employment, we are the county of choice in the area.


Bourbon County has a lot to offer, and some problems to tackle.  We at Bourbon County REDI are working to enhance and promote our strengths and to create coalitions to solve problems.  We believe in the future of our county.

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