Pulling
Apart:

A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends

**NEW
HAMPSHIRE**

Inequality has been increasing in New Hampshire for nearly two decades. This can be observed by ranking all New Hampshire 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 8 times as large as the poorest 20 percent of families.

- The richest 20 percent of families with children had average incomes 2.5 times as large as the middle 20 percent of families.

**The Long-Term Trend**

Since the late 1970s, income inequality has increased in New Hampshire. The long-term economic growth of the past two decades was not shared evenly among the poor, the rich, and the middle class. Instead, the top fifth of families with children fared substantially better than other income groups.

The gap between the top fifth of families and the bottom fifth of families grew by 49 percent since the 1970s.

- The average income of the poorest
fifth of families fell by $1,570 between the late 1970s
and the mid-1990s, from $15,870 to $14,300.
^{(1)}

- The average income of the middle fifth of families increased by $3,270 between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, from $43,250 to $46,520.

- The average income of the richest fifth of families increased by $29,700, between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, from $86,310 to $116,020.

**The Recent Trend**

Over the past decade, income inequality has increased in New Hampshire. While the average incomes of poor and middle-class families with children decreased since the mid-1980s, the average income of the richest fifth of families have increased.

The gap between the top fifth of families and the bottom fifth of families increased between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s faster than in all but three states. The gap between the rich and the middle class increased faster than in all but 9 states.

- The average income of the poorest fifth of families decreased by about $5,110 between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, from $19,412 to $14,300.

- The average income of the middle fifth of families decreased by $4, 060 between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, from $50,580 to $46,520.

- The average income of the richest fifth of families increased by $13,260, between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, from $102,760 to $116,020.

**End Notes**

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