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1967 – one in 25 families earned $100k in today’s dollars

2013 22.5 % of families earned $100k (up 2% over 2008)

1967 – 9% families earned $75k in today’s dollars

2013 34.4% of families earned $75k (up 3% over 2008)

1967 – 16.3% of families earned less than $15,000 and 27.7% earned less than $25,000

2013 12.7% of families earned less than $15,000 (up 1% since 2008) and 24.0% earned less than $25,000 (up 1%)

Data here. UPDATE: Correction on the 2013 low-earning estimates, HT to Alex. See Table A-1.

5 Responses to “Income and Poverty, Households: 1967-2013”

  1. alex says:

    I was trying to find that data. On page 23, I found that:
    1967: 16.3% (not 18.3%) of households- all races- earned under $15,000.
    (Also, since 11.4% earn between $15,000 and $25,000, this implies that 27.7% (not 31%) earned under $25,000)
    2008: 11.8% (117,181) earned under $15,000
    2013: 12.7% (122,952) earned under $15,000…so up 5% (not down 1%).

    Couldn’t find the rest of the data…

  2. alex says:

    If the data is all from the same table, how’d you get the “$75K” and “$100K” data? The table describes ranges (“$75,000 to $100,000”, “$100,000 to $150,000”). And the numbers are too low regarding earnings of X or greater.

    I’m also surprised that you chose these particular (cherry picked 🙂 ) data, because they don’t really show a picture of significant improvement. I mean, in 2000, only 10.7% earned under $15,000 and 20.8% earned under $25,000.

    It’s more informative than talking about poverty statistics and measures of relative inequality. Still, the data seem unimpressive. Not that I am in any type of position to opine on how you should write your posts, but I LOVED your (timeless) lecture on the INABILITY of these types of data to really capture how much standards of living have improved.

    • Wintercow says:

      As for the cherry picking, I think the top end data surprised me … And it doesn’t appear that those advanced are coming at expense of bottom in this days but of course the data is not really equipped to answer that either.

      The other reason for this use of data is to see how many people end up on these “facts” if they google the title, which I have used in an assignment asking people to create data from original sources. In fact, I didn’t want to change my error for this purpose. This exchange sort of gives it away!

  3. Harry says:

    You are using inflation-adjusted dollars, right? Thanks to WC and Alex for doing this research, from a freeloader.

    Given the data, I conclude that things are getting better for poor people and for the rest of us, too, since 1967, for people who work for a living. This corroborates my, and I presume WC’s, general optimism, rooted in the idea that freedom will prevail, despite relentless effort to defeat it.

    I especially liked the part when Alex accused WC for cherry picking. Would that we would see an op Ed where Alan Blinder gets into the weeds with Paul Krugman on cherry picking.

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