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Income in 1968 of Families and Persons in the United States

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Report Number P60-66

Average money income of families reached record levels in 1968, according to findings obtained from the inquiry on consumer income in the March 1969 Current Population Survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census. The median income of families was about $8,600 in 1968, a gain of $660, or about 8 percent, over 1967 (table A). About one-half of the increase in money income represented a real gain in purchasing power, however, as prices rose about 4 percent between 1967 and 1968.

The increase in family income for 1968 is a continuation of the general trend in rising family income during the past 21 years. Between 1947 and 1968, median family income nearly tripled, rising from $3,000 to $8,600. Much of this increase was eroded by rising prices, but the increase in real purchasing power is still substantial. In terms of constant (1968) dollars, median money income increased from about $4,700 in 1947 to $8,600 in 1968, or about $190 annually over the period.

This general rise in family income is reflected in an upward shift in the income distribution. For example, about 5.2 million families, or 10 percent of the total, had incomes below $3,000 in 1968. This represents a decrease of about 1 million since 1967 and a drop of 13.2 million since 1947. The proportion of families with incomes under $3,000 decreased from about one-half of the total in 1947 to about one-tenth in 1968. Even after adjusting for price changes, the percent of families with incomes under $3,000 in 1968 dropped to less than one-half of the 1947 figure of 26 percent.

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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