Average (median) family income in the United States was estimated at $4,200 in 1954, according to the results of the Current Population Survey. This figure was about the same as in 1953 but $300 higher than in 1952. The increase since 1952 probably represented a significant gain in purchasing power for the average family, since prlces rose only slightly during the same period, according to the Consumer Price Index.
Of the Nation's 42 million families, about 16 million, or two-fifths, received incomes of $5,000 or more in 1954 while 8 million, or one-fifth, had incomes under $2,000. The remaining 18 million families were in the $2,000-to-$5,000 bracket. The distribution of families (groups of two or more related persons) by their income in 1954 is shown below:
Table A.–NUMBER OF FAMILIES, BY FAMILY INCOME, FOR THE UNITED STATES: 1954
|Family Income||Number of Families|
|$1,000 to $1,999||4,600,000|
|$2,000 to $2,999||5,000,000|
|$3,000 to $3,999||6,400,000|
|$4,000 to $4,999||6,500,000|
|$5,000 to $5,999||5,000,000|
|$6,000 to $6,999||3,600,000|
|$7,000 to $9,999||4,700,000|
|$10,000 to $14,999||1,800,000|
|$15,000 and over||600,000|
The 7-percent gain in family income since 1952 largely reflects the continued rise in wage rates for workers in most major industries. The survey data indicate that the median wage or salary income of families rose between 7 and 8 percent from 1952 to 1954; average income from farm self-employment decreased substantially and receipts from other sources of income remained stable. The median income of rural-farm families fell by about $250 between 1952 and 1954. In contrast, the median for nonfarm families rose about $350 in 1953 and remained at the same level in 1954.
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