December 16, 1997

Pulling Apart:
A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends


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 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 Recent Trend

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

End Notes

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