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Family Income Distributions, 1950-2000

Historical Family Income

Family income includes all income earned by members of a family,
even if it is the dividend and/or interest income earned by a toddler.

Most people have no idea where they stand compared to families in the United States.
Another common error is not to realize how little people earned in the past.

Incomes for Each Fifth and Top 5 Percent of Families All Races): 1947 to 2001
Income in current dollars

Year LOWEST SECOND THIRD FOURTH FIFTH
2000 0-24,000 24,001-41,000 41,001-61,378  61,379-91,700  91,701-
1990 0-16,846 16,847-29,044 29,045-42,040  42,041-61,490  61,491-
1980 0-10,400 10,401-17,510 17,511-24,800 24,801-34,800 34,801-
1970 0- 5,100 5,101-8,320  8,321-11,299 11,300-15,531  15,532-
1960 0- 2,784 2,785-4,800 4,801- 6,364  6,364-8,800 8,801-
1950 0- 1,661 1,662-2,856  2,857- 3,801  3,801-5,283 5,284-

Family Income Needed to be in the top 5% of the United States

2000 $160,250
1990 102,358
1980 55,000
1970 24,250
1960 13,536
1950 8,615

SOURCE: US Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Demographic Supplements

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Income Surveys Branch
Housing & Household Economic Statistics Division
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, D.C. 20233-8500 (hhes-info@census.gov).


Go to Historical Income Tables - Families