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Average family income, by income group, 1947–2010 (2011 dollars)

Income fifth Breakdown of top fifth
Bottom Second Middle Fourth Top 80th–<95th percentile Top 5 percent
Real money income
1947 $7,808 $18,584 $26,548 $36,075 $67,152 $53,097 $109,317
1979 17,318 37,442 56,466 77,740 133,340 111,995 197,373
1989 16,575 38,561 59,906 86,189 162,284 129,724 259,965
1995 16,508 38,035 59,550 87,129 175,047 133,327 300,208
2000 18,444 42,171 66,279 97,682 204,946 152,205 363,167
2007 17,430 41,550 66,651 99,667 202,335 155,298 343,448
2010 15,464 38,235 62,268 94,893 193,308 150,016 323,183
Average annual change
1947–1979 2.5% 2.2% 2.4% 2.4% 2.2% 2.4% 1.9%
1979–1989 -0.4 0.3 0.6 1.0 2.0 1.5 2.8
1989–1995 -0.1 -0.2 -0.1 0.2 1.3 0.5 2.4
1995–2000 2.2 2.1 2.2 2.3 3.2 2.7 3.9
2000–2007 -0.8 -0.2 0.1 0.3 -0.2 0.3 -0.8
1979–2007 0.0 0.4 0.6 0.9 1.5 1.2 2.0
2007–2010 -3.9 -2.7 -2.2 -1.6 -1.5 -1.1 -2.0

Source: Authors' analysis of Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement Historical Income Tables (Tables F-2, F-3, and F-5)

Updated May 20, 2012

Documentation and methodology

Underlying data are from Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement Historical Income Tables, Table F-2, “Share of Aggregate Income Received by Each Fifth and Top 5 Percent of All Families, All Races: 1947– 2010,” Table F-3, “Mean Income Received by Each Fifth and Top 5 Percent of Families, All Races: 1947 to 2010,” and Table F-5, “Race and Hispanic Origin of Householder—Families by Median and Mean Income: 1947 to 2010.” The years 1947, 1979, 1989, 2000, and 2007 are highlighted throughout the chapter because they are employment cycle peaks and are similar in nature to business cycle peaks. 1995 represents a midway point between cycles to show the growth or stagnation of the period. 2010 is highlighted because it is the most recent year for which data are available. Data are inflated to 2011 dollars using the CPI-U-RS (Consumer Price Index Research Series Using Current Methods).

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