Average U.S. Household Earned an Extra 50 Cents a Day Last Year

Thursday, September 18, 2014
(photo: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

The average American household made more money last year, new federal data shows. But don’t go shopping for Beverly Hills real estate quite yet—the boost amounted to only 50 cents a day.


That meant being able to buy, say, another pack of dental floss picks, valued at half a dollar at your local drugstore.


The paltry increase in income was revealed in new figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau and examined by The New York Times’ Neil Irwin.


“The census numbers on what American families made last year are as mediocre as they are predictable,” Irwin wrote.


“We now know that if your household brought in $51,939 in income last year, you were right at the 50th percentile, with half of households doing better and half doing worse. In inflation-adjusted terms, that is up a mere 0.3 percent from 2012. If you’re counting, that’s an extra $180 in annual real income for a middle-income American family. Don’t spend your extra $3.46 a week all in one place,” he added.


Of course, that’s just an average. Corporate CEOs are doing much better than last year, while economic gains haven’t made their way to the middle class because of such developments as the decline in union membership and the number of workers being replaced by machines.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

You Can’t Feed a Family with GDP (by Neil Irwin, New York Times)

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013 (by Carmen DeNavas-Walt and Bernadette D. Proctor, U.S. Census Bureau)

Economy Recovers for Richest 1%; Income Flat for the other 99% (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

Average U.S. Household Has Lost 5% in Annual Income Since Economic “Recovery” Began (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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