As part of the Bureau's continuing effort to improve the quality and usefulness of its income and poverty data, several important modifications were made in the collection and presentation of data from the March Current Population Survey (CPS). All 1979 income amounts mentioned in the text are based on the full set of modifications made in the March 1980 CPS. However, all references to income changes between 1978 and 1979 are based on statistics derived using comparable procedures for both years. A detailed discussion of the modifications can be found in the section, "Modifications to the March 1980 CPS."
Also, the estimates in this report may differ slightly from those published in the 1979 advance report (P-60, No. 125) as a result of a correction to the weighting procedure. The most noticeable differences will appear in those estimates that are cross-classified by Spanish origin. A discussion of the correction can be found in the section, "Revision to Previously Published March 1980 Income Estimates."
In 1979, the median family income was $19,660, 11 percent higher than the 1978 median of $17,640. However, after adjusting for the 11.3-percent increase in consumer prices between 1978 and 1979,1 there was no significant change in real median family income. Median income for unrelated individuals was $7,560 in 1979, not significantly different than the 1978 median in real terms.
1 The percentage increase in prices between 1978 and 1979 is computed by dividing the annual average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 1979 by the annual average value of the CPI for 1978.
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.