Pulling
Apart:

A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends

**NORTH
DAKOTA**

Inequality has been level in North Dakota for nearly two decades. This can be observed by ranking all North Dakota families with children according to their income level, dividing them into five groups (or fifths) of equal size, and calculating the average income of each fifth of families. This analysis shows by the mid-1990s:

- The richest 20 percent of families with children had average incomes over 7 times as large as the poorest 20 percent of families.

- The richest 20 percent of families with children had average incomes 2.2 times as large as the middle 20 percent of families.

**The Long-Term Trend**

Since the late 1970s, income inequality has remained about level in North Dakota. The long-term economic growth of the past two decades was shared evenly among the poor, the rich, and the middle class.

The gap between the top fifth of families
and the bottom fifth of families declined by 6 percent since the
1970s.^{(1)}

- The average income of the poorest
fifth of families rose by $1,370 between the late 1970s
and the mid-1990s, from $11,060 to $12,420.
^{1}

- The average income of the middle fifth of families increased by $2,340 between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, from $39,064 to $41,408.

- The average income of the richest
fifth of families increased by $4,820 between the late
1970s and the mid-1990s, from $86,220 to $91,040.
^{1}

**The Recent Trend**

Over the past decade, income inequality has stayed approximately level in North Dakota.

- The average income of the poorest fifth of families increased by $750 between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, from $11,670 to $12,420.

- The average income of the middle fifth
of families increased by $470 between the mid-1980s and
the mid-1990s, from $40,940 to $41,410.
^{1}

- The average income of the richest
fifth of families increased by $3,990, between the
mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, from $87,050 to $91,040.
^{1}

**End Notes**

1. The direction of this change was not statistically significant at the 95 percent level of confidence.