American Incomes: Demographics of Who Has Money by New Strategist Press

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The Midwest has been struggling economically because manufacturing jobs are heading overseas. html; calculations by New Strategist AMERICAN INCOMES 33 Many States Experienced Declines in Median Household Income Between 1999–2000 and 2004–05, households in 32 states and the District of Columbia lost ground. The economic wellbeing of households by state is closely tied to local economies. The recession of 2001 and slow economic recovery affected most parts of the country, but some states suffered more than others.

And 76 percent have at least two earners. Households in the top 5 percent of the income distribution are even more likely to be headed by married couples and 35-to-54year-olds. Looking at the distribution of households by income quintile confirms these findings. Among married couples, 31 percent are in the top fifth of the income distribution compared with only 8 percent of female-headed families. Thirty-six percent of households with at least two earners are in the top income quintile versus just 11 percent of households with one earner.

Although median household incomes were lower in 2005 than in 2000, they were still significantly above the levels of 1980 and 1990. Householders aged 65 or older experienced the biggest growth in median income between 1980 and 2005—a 32 percent increase, after adjusting for inflation. 9 percent after adjusting for inflation. One factor behind the poor showing of the youngest householders was falling labor force participation as more went to college. ■ The incomes of householders aged 55 to 64 should continue to rise in the years ahead as aging baby boomers stay on the job well into their sixties.

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