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Household Income: 2012

Report Number ACSBR/12-02
Amanda Noss


This report presents data on median household income at the national and state levels based on the 2011 and 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). Estimates from the 2011 ACS and the 2012 ACS show no significant change in median household income at the national level and for most states.1 National- and state-level income trend data back to the 2000 ACS are also discussed, along with 2012 ACS metropolitan area income estimates.2 The ACS provides detailed estimates of demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics for states, congressional districts, counties, places, and other localities every year. A description of the ACS is provided in the text box “What Is the American Community Survey?”

In the 2012 ACS, information on income was collected between January and December 2012 and people were asked about income for the previous 12 months (the income reference period). This yielded a total income time span covering 23 months (January 2011 to November 2012). Therefore, adjacent ACS years have income reference months in common and comparisons of 2012 economic conditions with those in 2011 will not be precise.3

1 The medians from this report were calculated from the microdata and household distributions using 2012 dollars. Published estimates inflation adjusted by the CPI-U-RS will not match exactly to the estimates in this report.
2 The text of this report discusses data for the United States, including the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, collected with the Puerto Rico Community Survey, are shown in Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3, and Figure 4.
3 For a discussion of this and related issues, see Hogan, Howard, “Measuring Population Change Using the American Community Survey,” Applied Demography in the 21st Century, Steven H. Murdock and David A. Swanson, Springer Netherlands, 2008.


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