Income/Poverty – Fast Facts

All health care fast facts are from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Although they represent some of their most recent reports on this subject, they do not represent all of their reports on this subject. Occasionally minor word adjustments may have been made for clarity or to reflect the updated nature of the statement. As always, verify and view statements in their full context as often as possible.

In the 1949 census report, the median income of individuals not in families who were veterans was twice that of individuals who were not veterans.  Even if female individuals not in the families are excluded from the nonveteran group, the median income of male veterans was still considerably higher than that of male nonveterans.  Verify at Page 3
For the 1 percent of the population with the highest income, average real after-tax household income grew by 275 percent between 1979 and 2007.  Verify at Page 1
For others in the 20 percent of the population with the highest income (those in the 81st through 99th percentiles), average real after-tax household income grew by 65 percent over the 1979 and 2007 period.  Verify at Page 1
For the 60 percent of the population in the middle of the income scale (the 21st through 80th percentiles), the growth in average real after-tax household income was just under 40 percent.  Verify at Page 1
For the 20 percent of the population with the lowest income, average real after-tax household income was about 18 percent higher in 2007 than it had been in 1979.  Verify at Page 1
Two factors accounted for the changing distribution of market income:  One was an increase in the concentration of each source of market income, which consists of labor income, business income, capital gains, capital income, and other income.  The other was a shift in the composition of income.  Between 1979 and 2007, the share of income coming from capital gains and business income increased, while the share coming from labor income and capital income decreased.  Verify at Page 2
Researchers have tied the long-run increase in income inequality to changes in U.S. labor market and household composition.  More highly skilled, trained, and educated workers at the top are experiencing real wage gains, while those at the bottom are experiencing real wage losses making the distribution considerably more unequal.  Verify at Page 10
At the same time, changes in living arrangements have occurred that tend to exacerbate differences in household incomes.  For example, increases in divorces and separations, increases in births out of wedlock, and the increasing age at first marriage may have all led to a shift away from traditionally higher income married-couple households and toward typically lower-income single-parent and nonfamily households.   Verify at Page 10
Other factors related to the downward trend in wages of less-educated workers include intensifying global competition and immigration, the decline of the proportion of workers belonging to unions, the decline in the real value of the minimum wage, the increasing need for computer skills, and the increasing use of temporary workers.  Verify at Page 10
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