While watching the television or listening to the radio, you might hear a news report stating that the latest Census Bureau figures show median household income increased by 1.9 percent between 1996 and 1997/1, or you might read in a newspaper that the poverty rate for people declined from 13.7 percent in 1996 to 13.3 percent in 1997.2 Have you ever wondered where these data come from? Who can access the data? How can people use them? For the past 50 years, researchers and analysts have used the annual income and earnings estimates based on data collected in the March Current Population Survey (CPS) to chart the effectiveness of government programs, gauge the economic well-being of the country, develop marketing strategies for businesses, and assess the impact of changing demographic patterns.
This chartbook provides a graphic overview of changes in income over the past 50 years. The first section focuses on income of people, section two looks at the income of families, the third section deals with income statistics about households, and the final section contains data on poverty.
1 See Money Income in the United States: 1997 (with Separate Data on Valuation of Noncash Benefits), Current Population Reports, Series P60-200, September 1998.
2 See Poverty in the United States: 1997, Current Population Reports, Series P60-201, September 1998.
Others in Series
Poverty in the United States: 1997
This report presents poverty data by selected characteristics and geography to illustrate how poverty rates vary.
Health Insurance Coverage: 1997
This report presents data on the health insurance coverage status of persons in the United States during the 1997 calendar year.
The Changing Shape of the Nation's Income Distribution: 1947 - 1998
During the past 50 years, the annual demographic supplement to the March CPS has provided researchers with a wealth of data on income distribution.