Are you better off now than you were, er, 15 years ago?:
The median income of U.S. households fell 2.3% in 2010 to the lowest level since 1996 after adjusting for inflation, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.
The weak economy has driven median household income down for three straight years, to $49,445 in 2010, a total 6.8% decline since the recession began in December 2007. The government says the recession ended in June 2009.
Poor people and minorities were hit hardest. Median income for black households fell 3.6% to $32,206 while white household income dropped 1.3% to $54,620….
Income fell least for the most affluent households — down 1.2% to $180,810 in 2010 for the top 5% of households. Income declines got increasingly large down the income ladder. The bottom fifth of households — those making $20,000 or less in 2010 — saw incomes decline 3.8% after inflation.
Do you feel poorer than you were in the mid-1990s?
Does this sort of analysis—that argues that purchasing power has generally gotten better over time, despite inflation and wage stagnation—ring true for this past 15 years?