Friday, October 1, 2010


The Census Bureau reported today that U.S. median household income fell 3 percent in 2009 to $50,221, Bloomberg News reported today. Maryland had the highest income for a fourth consecutive year, at $69,272, even as its median dropped from $70,545 in 2008, the bureau said in its 2009 American Community Survey. Mississippi had the lowest for at least the fifth straight year, at $36,646. The American Community Survey data is used to help determine the annual distribution of more than $400 billion in federal and state funds, the bureau said.

In related news, the Census Bureau also reported that the income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record, the Associated Press reported today. The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released Census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968. A different measure, the international Gini index, found current U.S. income inequality to be at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations.