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Indicator 4 4 : Median family income compared to U.S. median

Goal: All Minnesotans will have the economic means to maintain a reasonable standard of living. The citizens who helped create Minnesota Milestones stated clearly that income slightly above the poverty level is not adequate for a reasonable standard of living. The indicators for this goal deal with several aspects of employment and income.

Rationale: Comparing Minnesota's median income to the nation's median income provides some indication of how Minnesota families are faring compared to the rest of the nation.

Median family income

Year
1980$35,499.00
1990$36,916.00
1991$44,785.00
1992$46,322.00
1993$48,817.00
1994$51,996.00
1995$54,396.00
1996$56,200.00
1997$60,577.00
1998$67,704.00
1999$66,677.00
2000$56,874.00
graph
Local data

Data source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

United States median family income

Year
1980$33,374.00
1990$35,225.00
1991$43,056.00
1992$44,251.00
1993$45,161.00
1994$47,012.00
1995$49,687.00
1996$51,518.00
1997$53,350.00
1998$56,061.00
1999$59,981.00
2000$50,046.00
graph

Data source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

Median family income as a percentage of the U.S. median

Year
1980106.4%
1990104.8%
1991104.0%
1992104.7%
1993108.1%
1994110.6%
1995109.5%
1996109.1%
1997113.5%
1998120.8%
1999111.2%
2000113.6%
graph
Local data

Data source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

About this indicator: Minnesota's median family income outpaced the nation's median family income throughout the 1990s, but especially between 1997 and 2000. In those years, Minnesota's median family income was between 111 and 121 percent of the nation's. This is strong improvement since 1990, when Minnesota's median family income was only 105 percent of the national figure.

The median is the income level that divides the population in half half of all families earn below and half earn above the median amount. This indicator provides some evidence that Minnesota's economy has performed better than the nation's economy during the 1990s. As a result Minnesota's families have benefited more than the nation's families.

Income data by race and ethnicity is expected in late summer 2002.

For comparison: The national median family income in 2000 was $50,046 compared to $56,874 in Minnesota, ranking eigth-highest in the nation. Connecticut ranked first at $65,521 and West Virginia ranked last at $36,484.

Things to think about: The median does not tell how Minnesotans on the very low and very high ends of the income scale are doing. The income difference between the richest households and poorest households in Minnesota should have further analysis.

Technical notes: Data between census years, 1991 to 1999, relates to a family of four (people related by birth, marriage or adoption living together), while the data for census years includes all family sizes. Data in census years 1980, 1990 and 2000 was collected in 1979, 1989 and 1999 respectively. The 1980 and 1990 data was adjusted to 1989 CPI-U-X1 dollars. Census 2000 data has not been adjusted.

Sources:

  • U.S. Bureau of the Census, Decennial Census, 1980, 1990 and 2000 www.census.gov
  • U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1991-99 data, www.census.gov/hhes/income/4person.html

Related data trends:

Related indicators:

Other related indicators:

  • Average weekly wage (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/data)
  • Annual change in per capita income (U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, www.bea.doc.gov)

Retrieve county data for: Median family income as a percentage of the U.S. median

Create Map: Median family income as a percentage of the U.S. median

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Retrieve county data for: Median family income

Create Map: Median family income

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Technical problems? Contact: demography.helpline@state.mn.us