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Table B. Selected Measures of Household Income Dispersion: 1967 to 1997

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(Income in 1997 dollars)



Measures of Income Dispersion 1997 1996 1995 1/ 1990 1985 1980 2/ 1975 3/ 1970 1968 1967
Household Income at Selected Percentiles
20th percentile upper limit 15,400 15,107 15,165 15,350 14,916 14,736 14,351 14,328 14,147 13,264
50th (median) 37,005 36,306 35,887 36,770 35,229 34,538 33,699 33,942 32,964 31,583
80th percentile upper limit 71,500 69,576 68,585 67,792 65,347 61,821 58,534 56,976 54,017 52,355
95th percentile lower limit 126,550 122,283 119,006 116,351 109,282 100,434 93,333 90,074 84,507 84,008
Household Income Ratios of Selected Percentiles
95th/20th 8.22 8.09 7.85 7.58 7.33 6.82 6.50 6.29 5.97 6.33
95th/50th 3.42 3.37 3.32 3.16 3.10 2.91 2.77 2.65 2.56 2.66
80th/50th 1.93 1.92 1.91 1.84 1.85 1.79 1.74 1.68 1.64 1.66
80th/20th 4.64 4.61 4.52 4.42 4.38 4.20 4.08 3.98 3.82 3.95
20th/50th 0.42 0.42 0.42 0.42 0.42 0.43 0.43 0.42 0.43 0.42
Mean Household Income of Quintiles
Lowest quintile 8,872 8,793 8,794 8,835 8,647 8,743 8,665 7,885 7,799 7,189
Second quintile 22,098 21,581 21,481 22,141 21,375 21,099 20,574 20,966 20,614 19,600
Third quintile 37,177 36,300 35,919 36,571 35,404 34,727 33,662 33,763 32,692 31,295
Fourth quintile 57,582 56,182 55,216 55,139 53,242 51,132 48,884 47,594 45,608 43,786
Highest quintile 122,764 118,164 115,226 107,004 98,211 89,812 85,131 84,268 79,875 79,348
Shares of Household Income of Quintiles
Lowest quintile 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.9 4.0 4.3 4.4 4.1 4.2 4.0
Second quintile 8.9 9.0 9.1 9.6 9.7 10.3 10.5 10.8 11.1 10.8
Third quintile 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.9 16.3 16.9 17.1 17.4 17.5 17.3
Fourth quintile 23.2 23.3 23.3 24.0 24.6 24.9 24.8 24.5 24.4 24.2
Highest quintile 49.4 49.0 48.7 46.6 45.3 43.7 43.2 43.3 42.8 43.8
Gini coefficient of income inequality 0.459 0.455 0.450 0.428 0.419 0.403 0.397 0.394 0.388 0.399



1/ Reflects 1990 census population controls first implemented in 1993, 1990 census sample redesign, a change in data collection method from paper-pencil to computer-assisted interviewing (CAI), and changes in income reporting limits. For detailed information concerning the impact of these changes, see Current Population Reports, Series P60 -191, "A Brief Look at Postwar U.S. Income Inequality."

2/ Reflects 1980 census population controls first implemented in March 1980.

3/ Reflects 1970 census population controls first implemented in March 1972.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, March Current Population Survey. Data not available prior to 1967.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Income |  Last Revised: June 17, 2010