Median family income in 1983 increased faster than the rate of inflation for the first time in 4 years, according to results of the March 1984 Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the Bureau of the Census. In 1983, median family income was $24,580, an increase of 4.9 percent over the 1982 median of $23,430. This increase was reduced to 1.6 percent after adjusting for the 3.2-percent increase in consumer prices.1 The rise in real median family income was the first statistically significant increase since 1978 when median family income rose by about 2.4 percent.
Between 1982 and 1983, the number of poor persons showed some evidence of an increase, rising from 34.4 to 35.3 million. The poverty rate of 15.2 percent showed no statistically significant increase. The poverty threshold for a family of four was $10,178 in 1983.
1 Changes in real income refer to comparisons after adjusting for inflation. The percentage change in prices between 1982 and 1983 was computed by dividing the annual average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 1983 by the annual average value of the CPI for 1982. See table A-2 of appendix A for CPI's from 1947 to 1983.
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