Chart Detail

Minimum income thresholds for family and household income, by income group, 1947–2010 (2011 dollars)

Real money income threshold, by fifth Top 5 percent
Bottom Second Middle Fourth Top
Family income
1947 $0 $13,952 $22,513 $30,529 $43,318 $71,099
1979 0 28,471 46,817 66,326 91,330 146,517
1989 0 28,027 49,038 71,455 104,292 173,318
1995 0 27,945 48,336 71,783 105,890 181,206
2000 0 31,345 53,340 80,094 119,340 209,126
2007 0 30,225 53,705 81,355 122,183 213,928
2010 0 27,527 49,514 76,483 117,333 206,675
Household income
1979 $0 $20,211 $37,534 $57,748 $83,731 $135,297
1989 0 21,184 40,281 61,910 94,064 160,685
1995 0 21,102 39,440 61,550 95,433 165,591
2000 0 23,405 43,100 68,142 106,791 189,666
2007 0 22,010 42,413 67,254 108,474 191,999
2010 0 20,631 39,243 63,683 103,222 186,515

Note: The bottom fifth begins at the first percentile, the second fifth at the 20th percentile, the middle fifth at the 40th percentile, the fourth fifth at the 60th percentile, and the top fifth at the 80th percentile of the income distribution.

Source: Authors' analysis of Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement Historical Income Tables (Tables F-1 and H-1)

Updated May 20, 2012

Documentation and methodology

Underlying data are from Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement Historical Income Tables, Table F-1, “Income Limits for Each Fifth and Top 5 Percent of Families (All Races): 1947 to 2010,” and Table H-1, “Income Limits for Each Fifth and Top 5 Percent of All Households: 1967 to 2010.” Data are inflated to 2011 dollars using the CPI-U-RS.

Demographic

Get the data

Get the data behind the charts.

Explore Our Charts

Subject

Demographic

Select a subject or demographic

Interactive feature

Interactive feature promo image When income grows, who gains?

For the media

Economic Policy Institute Media Relations Department (202) 775–8810 |