Exploring Income Inequality, Part 2: The Loss of Shared Prosperity

November 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

The slideshow below — the first in this week’s series on income inequality — shows that the years from the end of World War II into the early 1970s saw substantial income growth and broadly shared prosperity.  But this trend ended in the early 1970s, when income disparities started widening as incomes began to grow much faster at the top than in the middle or bottom.

The slideshow presents family income data from the Census Bureau.  While these data are useful for illustrating the widening of income inequality beginning in the 1970s, other data are superior for assessing more recent trends, as we explain in our new guide on examining income inequality.

Tomorrow, we’ll examine income growth in recent decades.

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More About Hannah Shaw

Hannah Shaw

Hannah Shaw joined the Center in August of 2008. Her work as a research associate centers on income inequality, unemployment insurance, and economic analysis of other federal budget and policy issues.

Full bio | Blog Archive | Research archive at CBPP.org

2 Comments Add Yours ↓

Comments are listed in reverse chronological order.

  1. 1

    Hannah,
    One question I have that I haven’t come across an answer for yet is this:

    What happened around that time in 1975 that caused a change in the trend, thus creating widening gaps over time?

    This would be a great question for this series to answer.

    • 2

      Jake,
      Thank you for your comment. My colleague Chad Stone, the Center’s Chief Economist, addresses causes of the income gap in his latest blog post today, Arrow to the Heart of Inequality. Thanks again for the excellent question!



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