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Report Number P60-34
Component ID: #ti1519104476

The average incomes of persons and families reached record levels in 1959, according to estimates released today by the Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce. The average (median) income of persons was $2,600 last year, a gain of $130, or 5 percent, over 1958. For families, the median reached $5,400; this was $330, or 6 percent higher than a year earlier. Most of the increase in cash income represented a gain in real purchasing power since the Consumer Price Index rose only about 1 percent between 1958 and 1959.

For men, last year's median income advanced to a high of $4,000, up $250 from the preceding year. An increased proportion of men was reported in the upper income range. Men with incomes of $5,000 or more accounted for about 37 percent of all male income recipients last year, as compared with 32 percent a year earlier. The income advances in 1959 stemmed in large part from increases in employment and wage rates, as the economy continued its recovery from the contraction of early 1958.

Women's incomes, which averaged $1,200 in 1959, remained about the same as in the two preceding years. This relatively low median income results in part from the sizable proportion of women working only part time or intermittently, or receiving small amounts from sources other than earnings. For year-round full-time women workers, incomes averaged $3,200 last year. For men who worked full time throughout the year, the corresponding average was $5,200.

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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