The average (median) money income of families in the United States was about $5,700 in 1961, according to estimates released today by the Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce. This estimate, from a sample survey of some 26,000 households, was about $120, or 2 percent, higher than in 1960. Consumer prices rose during this period by about 1 percent; therefore, any increase in family income greater than this amount represented a net gain in purchasing power for the average family.1
About 10 million families, or 21 percent of the 46 1/2 million families in the Nation, received money incomes under $3,000 in 1961. The number of families in that income range remained about the same as a year earlier. Another 9 million, or 20 percent, received incomes between $3,000 and $5,000 last year; and 10 million, or 22 percent, had incomes between $5,000 and $7,000. The remaining 17 million families, or 37 percent, reported incomes of $7,000 or more, representing an increase of about 1 1/2 million families in this class since the March 1961 survey.
1 The Consumer Price Index of the Department of Labor averaged 103.1 in 1960 and 104.2 in 1961 (1957-59-100).
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.