Economic Snapshot | Inequality and Poverty

Imbalances in income growth

A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshot for September 26, 2001.

Imbalances in income growth
One significant fact revealed in the recently released Census Bureau data on incomes and poverty in 2000 is that median household income did not grow for the first year since 1993. Although the economic recovery did not end in 2000, the United States has probably seen the end of income growth until it emerges from the current downturn. The figure below shows that this sluggish income growth was true for families in the lower-middle (20-40 percentile), middle (40-60), and upper-middle fifths (60-80) of the income scale. The income of the bottom fifth actually fell. The only exception to this trend was the upper 5% of earners, whose real incomes grew 2.8%.

Change in average income, 1999-2000

This week’s Snapshot by EPI economist Larry Mishel.

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See related work on Wages, Incomes, and Wealth | Inequality and Poverty

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