In processing the data collected in the March 1976 Current Population Survey, the Bureau of the Census utilized a new computer processing system designed to take maximum advantage of the Bureau's expanded computer capabilities. The revised system also incorporates many improvements in the procedures used to process the data. A detailed discussion of these improvements and the subsequent revisions to the 1974 income and poverty data (for comparability with 1975 data) is provided in a later section, entitled "Revised 1974 Money Income and Poverty Statistics."
The median income of all families in the United States was $13,720 in 1975 and there were about 25.9 million persons below the poverty level, according to results of the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted in March 1976 by the Bureau of the Census. Median family income in 1975 increased about 6 percent over the revised 1974 median. However, after adjusting for the 9 percent increase in prices between 1974 and 1975,1 the 1975 median in terms of constant dollars decreased by $360 or about 3 percent. The 25.9 million persons below the poverty level in 1975 ($5,500 for a nonfarm family of four) comprised 12 percent of the U.S. population.2 Overall, the poverty population was 2.5 million or 10.7 percent higher than the revised 1974 figure.
1 The percentage increase in prices between 1974 and 1975 is computed by dividing the annual average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 1975 by the annual average value of the CPI for 1974.
2 See page 45 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.