Unexpectedly Intriguing!
May 15, 2007

Having recently looked at the distribution of the number of U.S. income earners by age and income level for 2005, we thought it might be fun to create a similar chart looking at the same data, but from 10 years earlier. The following chart is generated from data provided by the U.S. Census' Current Population Survey from March 1995 and shows the distribution in the number of U.S. income earners by age and income level for 1994:

1995 Distribution of Number of US Income Earners by Income Level and Age Bracket

The income ranges in the chart above reflect 1994 U.S. dollars. Now, for the sake of comparison, here's our previous chart, which shows the distribution in the number of U.S. income earners by age and income level for 2004:

2005 Distribution of Number of US Income Earners by Income Level and Age Bracket

Since the income ranges in this chart reflect 2004 U.S. dollars, it's not possible to do more than directly compare the number of U.S. income earners in each age bracket for 1994 and 2004. Never-the-less, we find that there has been a substantial increase in the number of income earners in the higher age brackets. Our table below summarizes our findings:

Comparison in Number of U.S. Income Earners by Age Bracket for 1994 and 2004
Age Bracket 1994 2004 Percentage Change
Age 15-24 27,026,000 27,697,000 + 2.42%
Age 25-34 39,150,000 34,710,000 - 12.79%
Age 35-44 40,517,000 37,326,000 - 8.55%
Age 45-54 29,380,000 36,061,000 + 18.53%
Age 55-64 19,652,000 25,538,000 + 23.05%
Age 65-74 17,886,000 17,176,000 - 4.13%
Total Age 15-74 173,611,000 178,508,000 + 2.74%

Pretty remarkable! Although the total number of U.S. income earners between the ages of 15 and 74 only increased by 2.74% from 1994 to 2004, a substantial amount of shifting around between age brackets has occurred in that time.

Most notably, the growth in the number of income earners in the Age 55-64 bracket in 2004 exceeded all other brackets on a percentage basis, at an increase of 23.05% over 1994 levels, as 5,886,000 income earners were added to this group.

Second place in percentage growth between 1994 and 2004 belongs to the Age 45-54 bracket, as this group increased by 6,681,000 from 1994 to 2004, a 18.53% increase.

Meanwhile, the only other increase was the relatively flat growth in the number of income earners in the Age 15-24 bracket. All other age groups saw substantial decreases in the number of income earners in each bracket.

We'll be taking a closer look at this data in the days ahead....

Update: We should note that even the direct number comparison in the number of income earners from $1 to $95,000 between 1994 and 2004 is somewhat off, as the income ranges have not been adjusted for the effect of inflation over this time. As such, our post above only reflects raw number comparisons between these two years.

If we were to present this information in constant 2004 US dollars, and only look at the adjusted range between $1 and $95,000 for each year, there would be fewer income earners counted in 1994, as the effects of inflation make 1994 US dollars worth more in comparison. Consequently we would only be counting individuals in 1994 up to an income in that year of $74,575 ($95,000 2004 USD). We'll make these adjustments as part of our upcoming analysis.

Labels: ,

About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts

Stock Charts and News

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button


The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links

Useful Election Data
Charities We Support
Shopping Guides
Recommended Reading
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified

Legal Disclaimer

Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.