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Income of Persons in the United States: 1952

Report Number P60-14
Component ID: #ti255354632

People were receiving higher money incomes in 1952 than ever before in the Nation's history, according to estimates released today by Robert W. Burgess, Director, Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce. The median (average) income of persons with money incomes in 1952 was estimated at $2,300 or about $100, or 5 percent, greater than in 1951. At the close of World War II in 1945, median income was only $1,400. Continued high levels of defense spending and generally expanded employment opportunities were among the many factors contributing to income gains in 1952. The increases were fairly widespread, affecting both men and women in many lines of work.

The median money income of farm residents did not change materially during the year. Significant increases were recorded, however, for both nonfarm men and women. Among men, the largest relative gains were reported by salaried professional and managerial workers. Operatives and craftsmen, who together comprise about two-fifths of the male labor force, had moderate gains of between 4 and 5 percent. Men employed in other occupation groups showed little change in median income during the year. Among women, the two most important occupation groups, clerical workers and operatives, showed an increase of about 8 percent.

Many different groups reported income gains during the year, but the distribution of aggregate income remained unchanged between 1951 and 1952. In fact, there has been no important change in the distribution of income among persons since the end of World War II (table A). During World War II, there had been a marked reduction in the share of the income received by the highest 20 percent of the income recipients and commensurate increases in the shares received by most of the other groups.1

Table A.–PERCENT OF AGGREGATE TOTAL MONEY INCOME (BEFORE TAXES) RECEIVED BY INCOME RECIPIENTS RANKED BY INCOME, FOR THE UNITED STATES: 1945, 1951, AND 1952

Income recipients 1952 1951 1945
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0
Lowest fifth 2.6
2.5 3.1
Second fifth 8.5 8.4 9.0
Middle fifth 16.9 16.7 16.0
Fourth fifth 25.0 24.7 24.5
Highest fifth 47.0 47.7 47.4

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1 For a more detailed discussion of these trends see, U. S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports--Consumer Income, Series P-60, No. 11.

Component ID: #ti702095047

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.

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