Changes in Income

The Census has data on real median income from 1967 to 2006 by quintile. It shows the income level of the first four quintiles, and the bottom of the top 5% of income earners. Here’s what it looks like for selected years:

Here’s what the annualized growth rates look like. I’ve taken the liberty of color coding the negatives gray.

The data seems to have some serious Bush Derangement Syndrome… the Old Bush comes in dead last in every category, and the New Improved Bush comes second from the bottom in every category. One might also notice that all the negative growth seems to coincide with a Bush in the White House. The data also goes some way toward showing why much of the American public isn’t all that pleased with the economy despite all the good news touted on the National Review.



1. The “real median income” is provided in 2006 prices.
2. Note that there are two tables on the Census page. The top one shows the same data in nominal prices.