May 7, 2008

How fast does income go up?

This census page with per capita income over time. That page covers 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989 and 1999. Another page covers more current value for 2006.

The values are as follows
1959 $1,850
1969 $3,119
1979 $7,298
1989 $14,420
1999 $21,587
2006 $27,239

From these historical values we can figure that the annual growth rate of personal income was 5.89% from 1959 to 2006.

If we break it down by decade we can see that in the 60's wages grew 5.4% annually, in the 70's 8.9%, in the 80's it was 7.0%, in the 90's it was 4.1% and from 1999 to 2006 wages grew 3.4% annually.

So while historically in the past 5 decades wages grew over 5% a year, in the past couple decades we've seen wage grown slow to 3-4% annually.

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