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Income of Families and Persons in the United States: 1958

Report Number P60-33

The average (median) income of families was estimated at $5,100 in 1958, or about 2 percent higher than in 1957, despite the decline in economic activity which extended over much of the year, according to estimates released today by the Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce. However, this $120 increase in money income between 1957 and 1958 represented little change in purchasing power for the average family, since prices also rose during this period.1

Average family income has increased by about two-thirds in the postwar period (from $3,000 in 1947 to $5,100 in 1958). At the same time, the proportion in the lowest income groups (under $3,000) was cut in half (from 49 percent in 1947 to 24 percent in 1958), and the proportion in the highest income groups ($10,000 or more) had tripled. The income gains for unrelated individuals were somewhat less marked than those recorded for families. Nevertheless, the average income of unrelated individuals rose by about 50 percent between 1947 and 1958, and the proportion with incomes under $3,000 was reduced from 89 to 70 percent during this period.

1 The Consumer Price Index of the Department of Labor averaged 120.2 in 1957 and 123.5 in 1958.

A Note on Language

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.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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