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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

More on Median Income

[Disclaimer: This post was first published on Coleen Rowley's campaign weblog.]

Not long ago, we explained how median income, adjusted for inflation, is a better measure of the health of the American economy than average income, because median income only rises if the number of people moving above the previous median exceeds the number of people falling below it.

Recent census data show that over the past 2-3 years, median income has fallen while average income has risen, indicating that the rich are getting richer while most Americans are left behind. Yesterday, the Detroit Free Press published a story discussing the drop in median incomes over the past 6 years. While the story was focused on Michigan, there was one quite telling graphic showing the change in real median income for every state over the past 6 years.

The upshot is, real median income is stagnant or down --- in many cases, sharply down --- in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Wisconsin had the worst drop, at 16.5%, and Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri all had double-digit drops as well.

Viewed from that perspective, Minnesota's 1.6% drop is relatively modest. Nevertheless, it's clear that the economy is heading in the wrong direction. This is yet one more reason we need to change things in Washington.

Update: It appears that the Detroit Free Press had an error in their data; this post has been updated accordingly. The corrected data is available here.

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