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Income of Families and Persons in the United States: 1950

Report Number P60-09

Average family income in 1950 was $3,300, or $200 higher than in 1949, according to estimates issued today by Roy V. Peel, Director, Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce. Inasmuch as there was only a slight increase in prices between 1949 and 1950, according to the Consumers' Price Index, the increase in income during this period probably represented a significant increase in purchasing power for the average family. This change indicates for the first time a reversal of the generally downward trend in the purchasing power of the average family since the end of World War II.

Nine million families in the United States received money incomes of $5,000 or more in 1950, and 10 million had incomes under $2,000. The remaining 21 million families were in the $2,000-to-$5,000 range. The distribution by income of the nation's 40 million families (groups of two or more related persons) is shown below:1


Family Income Number of Families
Total 39,800,000
Under $1,000 4,600,000
$1,000 to $1,999 5,200,000
$2,000 to $2,999 7,100,000
$3,000 to $3,999 8,200,000
$4,000 to $4,999 5,400,000
$5,000 to $5,999 3,600,000
$6,000 to $6,999 2,100,000
$7,000 to $9,999 2,300,000
$10,000 and over 1,300,000

1 These figures are derived from the data in table 1 and are rounded to the nearest 100,000.

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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