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The political economy of development
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Analysis of Income and Poverty Data


The median household income of the United States declined by 1.0
percent in real terms between 1992 and 1993.  The median household income
in 1993 was $31,241 compared to an inflation-adjusted 1992 median of
$31,553.  Although the most recent recessionary period ended in March
1991, household income has not yet recovered to its prerecessionary level
of $33,585 in 1989 (in 1993 dollars), a decline of 7.0 percent.
Median household income by race and Hispanic origin remained unchanged
in real terms between 1992 and 1993 (White-$32,960; Black-$19,532;
Asian and Pacific Islander-$38,933; Hispanic-$22,886.) Between 1989 and 
1993, the real median household incomes for all the race and Hispanic 
origin groups declined.
The real median earnings of year-round, full-time workers, 15 years old
and over, declined for males and females alike between 1992 and 1993.
The median earnings of males declined by 2.2 percent, from $31,101 to
$30,407, while the decline in earnings for females was 1.2 percent, from
$22,015 to $21,747.  The ratio of female-to-male earnings was 0.72 in
1993, comparable to the all-time high reached in 1990.


The number of persons below the official government poverty level was
39.3 million in 1993, a figure 1.3 million higher than the 38.0 million
poor in 1992 and 6.9 million higher than the 32.4 million poor in 1989.
The poverty rate was 15.1 percent in 1993, not significantly different
from the 14.8 percent poverty rate in 1992, but higher than the 1989 rate
of 13.1 percent.
There was no significant change between 1992 and 1993 in the poverty
rates for Whites (12.2), Blacks (33.1), persons of Hispanic origin (30.6)
or Asians and Pacific Islanders (15.3).  However, the number of poor
persons was higher for Whites (26.2 million) and Hispanics (8.1 million)

NOTE:  A significant change occurred in the data collection method for
the March 1994 CPS income supplement--conversion from paper data
collection to computer assisted interviewing.  Changes in income measures
between 1993 and earlier years are likely due in some part, perhaps a
large part, to the change in data collection methods.

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