Thursday, September 10, 2009

Household Income Blues...

The Census released (hat tip Calculated Risk) data for 2008 Household Income and it was a doozy...

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that real median household income in the United States fell 3.6 percent between 2007 and 2008, from $52,163 to $50,303. This breaks a string of three years of annual income increases and coincides with the recession that started in December 2007.
Even more remarkable is that EVERY income limit (i.e. bottom 20% through top 20% and top 5%) is now down in real terms since 1999!

Household Income by Limits

And the bottom 20% bracket now earns a WHOPPING $2689 more per year in 2008 dollars than in 1968.

Cumulative Change in Household Income

Source: Census


  1. about the death of the K-Fence (Krugman's Picket Fence of socionomic progress)! And the birth of a stratified society. When do the peasants burn us all before pitchforking our charred remains into the refuse heap?

  2. Those numbers would look a lot worse (at least until recently)if actual housing costs rather than OER were included in the CPI.

    OER was a terrible idea. Hedonics are a bad idea too imo.

    The recent increase in the savings rate is not all it appears to be either. I suspect very few outside of the high earners are saving on a cash basis.