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Family Income Up 8 Percent Since 1955 (Advance data, March 1957 sample survey)

Report Number P60-26

Average (median) family income in the United States was estimated at $4,800 in 1956, or about 8 percent higher than in 1955, according to estimates released today by the Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.

Increases in average income were recorded among both farm and nonrarm residents. The average income of nonfarm familles increased by about 8 percent over the year, largely because of increases in wage rates. The average income of rural-farm familles also rose in 1956. Other evidence indicates that the rise in the income of farm families is due partly to their increased earnings from nonfarm work. A large proportion of the farm population derives at least part of its income from employment off the farm.

Of the Nation's 43 million familles, 3 1/2 million, or about 8 percent, received incomes of $10,000 or more, while an additional 17 million, or about two-fifths, had incomes ranging between $5,000 and $10,ooo. At the other end of the income scale, about 7 million, or one-fifth, had incomes under $2,000. The remaining 16 million families were in the $2,000-$5,000 bracket. The distribution of familles (groups of two or more related persons) by their income in 1956 is shown in table A.

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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