Tennessee income growth fastest in South

Personal income in Tennessee grew faster than any state in the Southeast last year, providing the typical Tennessean the biggest yearly gain in pay and investment earnings in more than a decade.

After three years of relatively stagnant growth in per capita income during the recession, per capita income in Tennessee rose 4.6 percent in 2011, according to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The average Tennessean earned $36,533 last year, up $1,612 from 2010.

Tennesseans, on average, still earned nearly 13 percent less than the per capita U.S. average income of $41,683, government figures show. But for the second year in a row, Tennesseans gained ground on their counterparts in Georgia and took home bigger paychecks, on average.