Trends in the Levels and Distribution of the Annual Incomes Among Young Families, 1973 to 2010: Deteriorating Real Incomes Amidst Steeply Rising Inequality

Release Date: March 26, 2012
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Among the most important indicators of the economic well-being of families is their annual real (inflation adjusted) income. The annual incomes reported in this research brief include all cash income received by all family members 16 and older in the form of wages and salaries, self-employment income, interest, rents, dividends, cash public income transfers (unemployment insurance, TANF benefits, disability payments, Social Security payments, general relief), alimony, child support, and private pensions. The annual income of a family is the primary determinant of its ability to buy goods and services and to avoid food, housing, and medical care insecurities. Achieving an adequate income capable of making it into the middle class is also a primary element of the American Dream, which often includes home ownership, the ability to adequately provide for one’s children including their college costs, and personal savings to finance one’s retirement.

Click here for the summary of findings from the report (.pdf)

About the Author

Andrew Sum, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston

Andrew M. Sum is a professor of economics and the director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. He has produced research on the labor market and workforce development on the local, state and national level for the past 40 years focusing on the experiences of teens, young adults, blue collar workers and older workers. His most recent research has focused on what he calls "The Lost Decade," and how the last ten years, including "The Great Recession," has seriously harmed young workers and young families with children.