Aid flows to small island developing states (SIDS) are enormous by international standards when compared to the size of their economies. Yet these countries face many severe economic challenges and many have experienced declines in the living standards of their citizens. This paper looks at the impact of aid on what is treated as a necessary precondition for improvements in living standards, typically defined. Specifically, it examines the impact of foreign aid on real per capita income growth in SIDS by econometrically analysing cross-country data for the period 1980 to 2004. A variety of econometric techniques and measures of aid are used. Results suggest that foreign aid is effective at spurring economic growth but with diminishing returns.