Men's incomes reached a new record level in 1956 but the income of women was about unchanged, according to estimates released today by the Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce. The average (median) income of men was $3,600 in 1956, a gain of about $250 over the previous year. Among women, the average (median) income in 1956 was $1,100, about the same as it had been in the preceding four years.
Since the close of World War II, the average income of men has virtually doubled. The proportion of men whose incomes were $5,000 or over rose from only 5 percent in 1945 to about 24 percent in 1955 and 28 percent in 1956. In contrast, the average income of women has increased by about $250, or only 27 percent, since 1945. Wage rates have increased sharply for women as well as for men during the postwar period. However, the effect of these wage increases for women has been, partly offset by the rising proportion of women who work only part of the year.
Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.