Growth in per capita personal income slowed to 4.8 percent in 1987, down from 5.2 percent in 1986, with 37 states contributing to the slowdown, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

The average per capita income for Americans was $15,340 in 1987.Utah ranked 48th with a 1987 per capita personal income of $11,246.

When taking inflation into account, the per capita income increase last year was the smallest since the recession year of 1982, according to the department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Connecticut, at $20,980, remained the state with the highest per capita income, followed by New Jersey at $20,067 and Massachusetts at $18,926.

Mississippi had the lowest income at $10,204.

The slowdown reflects slower growth of total personal income, to 5.8 percent from 6.3 percent in 1986. Personal income is money received by all persons from all sources. During both years, the nation's population increased 1 percent, the department said.

Of the 37 states with decelerating per capita income growth, most were in the New England, Mideast, Great Lakes, Plains, Southeastern and Far West regions.

The slowdowns in income mostly reflected slowdowns in earnings growth in finance, retail trade, services and construction.

Six of the 13 states with rising per capita income growth were in the Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions, where a slowing in population growth made the difference.

Population growth slowed for the first time in more than 20 years in the Southwest. Also, earnings grew faster last year than in 1986 because of rises in manufacturing, transportation and mining, despite sluggish oil prices, the department said.