Pulling
Apart:

A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends

**DELAWARE**

Inequality has been increasing in Delaware for nearly two decades. This can be observed by ranking all Delaware 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 10 times as large as the poorest 20 percent of families.

- The richest 20 percent of families with children had average incomes 2.7 times as large as the middle 20 percent of families.

**The Long-Term Trend**

Since the late 1970s, income inequality has increased in Delaware. 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 39 percent since the 1970s.

- The average income of the poorest
fifth of families fell by $810 between the late 1970s and
the mid-1990s, from $12,850 to $12,040.
^{(1)}

- The average income of the middle fifth
of families fell by $290 between the late 1970s and the
mid-1990s, from $43,220 to $42,940.
^{1}

- The average income of the richest fifth of families increased by $27,250 between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, from $89,720 to $116,940.

**The Recent Trend**

Over the past decade, income inequality has worsened in Delaware. While the average incomes of most families with children remained steady since the mid-1980s, the average income of the richest fifth of families have increased substantially.

The gap between the top fifth of families and the bottom fifth of families increased between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s. The gap between the rich and the middle class increased faster than in all but 4 states.

- The average income of the poorest
fifth of families increased by $530 between the mid-1980s
and the mid-1990s, from $11,510 to $12,040.
^{1}

- The average income of the middle fifth
of families increased by $130 between the mid-1980s and
the mid-1990s, from $42,810 to $42,940.
^{1}

- The average income of the richest fifth of families increased by $24,380 between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, from $92,590 to $116,970.

**End Notes**

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