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
Table A.--NUMBER OF FAMILIES, BY FAMILY INCOME, FOR THE UNITED STATES: 1950
|Family Income||Number of Families|
|$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.
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.
Others in Series
Income of Families and Persons in the United States: 1949
Distribution of families and unrelated individuals by total money income, for the United States, urban and rural.
American Children: Economic Characteristics of Their Families
Estimated number of families and number of children under 18 years of age, by family income and other characteristics.
Income of Persons Up 10 Percent in 1951 (Advance data)
Distribution of persons 14 years of age and over by total money income and by sex, for the United States, farm and nonfarm, 1951, 1950 and 1945.