3/15/16 Income Equality

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The percentage of middle income households has fallen.  And for good reason.  They’ve moved into upper income levels.

And the percentage of lower income households has also fallen.

Census Bureau data over the last half century was crunched by Dr. Mark Perry.  He’s an economics professor at the University of Michigan at Flint.

Low income households are defined as $50,000 or less in constant 2014 dollars.  They were 58% of all US households in 1967.  Since then, they’ve shrunk by one-fifth.

Middle income households – or fifty to $100,000 — were one-third of all households.  Today, they’re better than one of four.

The big gainer is the percentage of high income households of $100,000 or more.  They’ve tripled.  They were one out of 12 nearly 50 years ago as measured in constant 2014 dollars.  Today, they’re one out of four.

A natural question is:  Has occurred because of an increase in two income families with women entering the workforce in greater numbers since the 1960s?

The answer’s no.

In 1960, there were 1.22 workers per household.  The same as today.  For all households.

But when you break it down, the highest income households have nearly 2 workers.  The lowest have less than one-half worker.

The bottom line is income inequality has actually shrunken over the last 50 years.

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