To provide some historical context to the current public discussion of income inequality, we’re releasing a series of posts this week that examine trends in income inequality in recent decades and outline different data sources to examine the issue. The broad facts of income inequality over the past six decades are easy to summarize:
This broad overview reflects data from a variety of sources. Different data sources tell different parts of the story; no single source is best for all purposes. CBPP issued a guide today that discusses the strengths and limitations of various data sources in understanding trends in income and inequality. It also highlights the trends that those key data sources reveal and gives additional information on poverty measurement and the distribution of wealth.
Stay tuned. The next post in this series will look at income growth in the post-World War II decades and the widening of income disparities starting in the 1970s.