|The Rich Get Richer, The Poor Get Slightly Richer|
|Key Words||Boom, income, poverty, inflation, growth, hours, rich, poor, quintile|
The economic boom is making most Americans better off. Median household income is now a record $38,885. The percentage living below the poverty line fell from 13.3% in 1997 to 12.7% in 1998.
However, the growth in incomes after inflation over the last nine years has only been about 0.3% per year because in the early years of the expansion growth was sluggish. In general, many have to work longer hours for their wage gains. Also, the rich have benefited more than the poor have: the poverty rate is still 1.6 percentage points above the 1973 rate. The more educated are faring better than those with less education.
The percentage share of household income of (quintiles) fifths of the population in 1970 and 1998 was as follows:
(Updated December 1, 1999)
|Source||Jacob M. Schlesinger, Tristan Mabry, and Sarah Lueck, "Charting the Pain Behind the Gain," The Wall Street Journal, October 1, 1999|
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