Chapter

Changing Inequality in Total Income and Its Components

Rebecca M. Blank

in Changing Inequality

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780520266926
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950191 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520266926.003.0004
Changing Inequality in Total Income and Its Components

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This chapter examines the distribution of total income among all nonelderly adults. It examines the shifts in the distribution of total income among single individuals and among persons living in married-couple families and single-headed families. It also explores the comparative changes in the three primary components of annual income. It discusses that the increase in inequality are accompanied by a substantial upward shift in most of the income distribution. It clarifies that incomes among those in the middle of the distribution have risen substantially and that the rising inequality around an increasing median leads to an income distribution in 2007 in which almost everyone has higher incomes than persons at equivalent points in the income distribution in 1979, except for the lowest income group. It argues that the rising inequality is typically viewed as less of a problem when it occurs in a context where most people are doing better.

Keywords: total income; income distribution; single individuals; married-couple families; single-headed families; income group; 2007; primary components of annual income; nonelderly adults

Chapter.  6552 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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