The median income of all families in the United States was $12,840 in 1974, according to results of the Current Population Survey (CPS) which was conducted in March 1975 by the Bureau of the Census. This figure represented an increase of about 7 percent over the 1973 median family income. However, after adjusting for the 11 percent increase in prices between 1973 and 1974,1 the 1974 median in terms of constant dollars decreased by about 4 percent below the 1973 median. The survey also showed that there were about 24.3 million persons below the poverty level in 1974 ($5,038 for a nonfarm family of four) comprising 12 percent of the U.S. population.2 Overall, the poverty population was 1.3 million or 5.6 percent higher than the 1973 figure.
1 The percentage increase in prices between 1973 and 1974 is computed by dividing the annual average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 1974 by the annual average value of the Index for 1973.
2 See page 3 for an explanation of the poverty definition.
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.