Mr. and Ms. Median American Over The Decades

by: Barry Ritholtz

Fascinating data points in a Forbes magazine article looking at "Mr. And Mrs. Median over the decades"

Median Income (Men)*

1965 $28,599
1975 $33,148
1985$42,847
1995 $39,186
2005 $41,386

* All figures in 2005 inflation-adjusted dollars, except where noted.
Source: Census Bureau

~~~

Median Income (Women)

1965 $9,533 (33% of men)
1975 $12,697 (38% ofmen)
1985 $27,720 (65% of men)
1995 $27,990 (71% of men)
2005 $31.858 (77% of men)

Source:Census Bureau

~~~

Income Share of Middle 60% of Wage Earners

1965 52.3%
1975 52.1%
1985 50.4%
1995 47.6%
2005 46.2%

Source:Census Bureau

~~~

Household Net Worth

1965 $254,740
1975 $268,234
1985
$292,143
1995 $345,321
2005 $465,970

Source: Moody's Economy.com

~~~

Personal Savings Rate

1965 8.5%
1975 10.5%
198511%
1995 5%
2005 -0.4%

Source:Commerce Department

~~~

Misery Index (Inflation Plus Unemployment)

1965 6.1%
1975 17.7%
1985 10.7%
1995 8.4%
2005 8.5%

Source: miseryindex.us

~~~

Top Federal Tax Rate

1965 70%
1975 70%
1985 31%
1995 40%
2005 35%

Source:taxpolicycenter.org

~~~

Changes in Purchasing Power

1965 -1975 10 years: -1.3%
1985 10 years: 0.1% 20 years: -1.2%
1995 10 years: 1.8% 20 years: 1.9% 30 years: 0.6%
2005 10 years: 5.7% 20 years: 8.0% 30 year: 7.5% 40 years:
6.2%

Sources:Census Bureau, miseryindex.us

~~~

Home Ownership Percentage

1965 63%
1975 68%
1985 64%
1995 65%
2005 69%

Source: St. Louis Fed

~~~

Productivity Increases Since 1965

1965 (baseline)
1975 +24%
1985 +42%
1995 +66%
2005 +220%

Sources: Moody's Economy.com

~~~

Percentage of Women in Workforce

1965 34%
1975 39%
1985 44%
1995 46%
2005 46%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

~~~

Compensation of CEO of largest U.S. Corporation vs. Median Household

In actual dollars for each year

1965 Frederick Donner/General Motors 3.9 million (med. household
income = 0.2%)
1975 Ken Jamieson/Exxon $469,550 (med. household income
= 3%)
1985 Clifton Garvin/Exxon $1.5 million (med. household income =
2%)
1995 John Smith/General Motors $7 million (med. household income =
0.6%)
2005 Lee Scott/Wal-Mart $19 million (med. household income =
0.2%)

Sources: Census Bureau, General Motors, Exxon Mobil, Wal-Mart

~~~

Compensation of highly paid athlete vs. Median Household

In actual dollars for each year

1965 Joe Namath/football $142,333 (med. household income =
5%)
1975 Pele/soccer $1.5 million (median household income =
0.8%)
1985 Mike Schmidt/baseball $2.1 million (median household income
= 1.1%)
1995 Michael Jordan/basketball $40 million (median household
income = 0.1%)
2005 Tiger Woods/golf $87 million (median household
income = 0.1%)

Sources: Forbes