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Slight Rise in Family Income in 1958 (Advance data, March 1959 sample survey)

Report Number P60-32

The average (median) income of families was estimated at $5,100 in 1958, or about 2 percent higher than in 1957, despite the decline in economic activity which extended over most of the year, according to estimates released today by the Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce. However, this $120 gain in money income between 1957 and 1958 did not represent a significant change in purchasing power for the average family, since prices also rose during this period.1

The slight increase in average family income in 1958, despite sizable unemployment and a shorter average workweek, is attributable in part to wage-rate increases in most industries. This factor largely accounts for the substantial rise in the average income of families headed by persons who worked at full-time jobs throughout the year. For this group, the average income rose to $6,000 in 1958, a gain of about $260, or 5 percent over the previous year. The proportion of families whose head worked full time throughout the year, however, dropped from 65 percent in 1957 to 62 percent in 1958. Families headed by a person with less than a full year's employment had an average income of $3,900 in both years.

1 The Consumer Price Index of the Department of Labor averaged 120.2 in 1957 and 123.5 in 1958.

Slight Rise in Family Income in 1958 (Advance data, March 1959 sample survey)

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.


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