Telescoping Median Household Income Back In Time

According to Sentier Research, median household income in the United States increased to $63,220 in October 2018, a 0.3% increase over the firm's estimate of $63,007 for September 2018. The following chart shows the nominal (red) and inflation-adjusted (blue) trends for median household income in the United States from January 2000 through October 2018. The inflation-adjusted figures are presented in terms of constant October 2018 U.S. dollars.

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Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Nominal and Real Estimates, January 2000 to October 2018

The single biggest takeaway from this chart is the growth streak that median household income has achieved during 2018. Since nominal median household income last saw a downtick in December 2017, in both nominal and inflation-adjusted terms, the income earned by the typical American household at the middle of the distribution of income in the United States has now set new record high values in each of the last ten months.

At the same time, the year-over-year growth rate of median household income in the United States has started setting record high values as well, in nominal if not inflation-adjusted terms. The next chart shows this data from January 2001 through October 2018.

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Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Year Over Year Growth Rate, January 2001 to October 2018

At a year-over-year growth rate of 6.3%, October 2018 has recorded the fastest year-over-year growth for nominal median household income over Sentier Research's entire data series, which only extends back to January 2000 for their signature monthly household income data.

Analyst's Notes

Don't you hate running into a limit like that? What if we could telescope the estimates for monthly median household income to go further back in time?

That's something that only we can do, where we simply need to apply the alternative method we developed for estimating monthly median household income in the U.S. that we developed to fill the gap for this data when Sentier Research suspended their income data reporting in the months between May 2017 and March 2018.

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