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This report presents data on the income of households, families, and people in the United States for calendar year 1999, as well as comparisons with 1998 and, in some cases, with 1989, the previous peak year in the business cycle. Changes in income noted in this report are based on real income (after adjusting for inflation). The Census Bureau compiled these data from information collected in March Supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS), based on approximately 50,000 randomly selected households nationwide.
The CPS demographic supplement conducted in March of each year is one of the best known and most widely used of all continuing federal household surveys. For more than 50 years, analysts, researchers, and policy makers have used the CPS to examine annual changes in income and earnings and to compare them with historical trends. Television, radio, and newspapers frequently draw upon this source for statistics on American's jobs, income, poverty status, health insurance coverage, marital status, migration, and other characteristics.
The estimates in this report are based on interviewing a sample of the population. Respondents provide answers to the best of their ability. As with all sample surveys, the estimates may differ from the actual values. Table A presents the confidence intervals for estimates discussed in the text. Data users should consider the levels of uncertainty when using these estimates.
(Most of the estimates described below are shown on Table A, Table B, Table E, and Appendix Table B-2; the estimates for states are shown on Table D.)