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March 15, 2007

Age and income

It's often said that anyone can prove anything with statistics, and statistics about who's getting ahead in our country can be confusing. When examining household income changes, says one N.C. State University economist, it's important to consider age.

"Young households and people who are very old and retired, they tend to have both lower incomes, and they tend to have their incomes growing up at a slower pace," says Dr. Mike Walden, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension specialist. "So if you really want to get a good idea of what's happening to household income, it's probably important to look at what we call prime-age households –- those people between the ages of 25 and 59. And here, the news is actually pretty good.

"For example, from 1979 to 2005 the percentage of households in those prime ages earning over $100,000 a year in inflation-adjusted dollars doubled, from 12 percent to 24 percent," he adds. "On the other hand, the percentage earning between $30,000 and $75,000 actually shrank.

"So by this study you can say that households in their prime income earning years have actually enjoyed gains to their standard of living over the past quarter century."

Posted by deeshore at March 15, 2007 08:44 AM