Median household income in the United States in 2012 was $51,017, not statistically different in real terms from the 2011 median of $51,100. This followed two consecutive annual declines.
A comparison of real household income over the past five years shows an 8.3 percent decline since 2007, the year before the nation entered an economic recession.So, maybe the best news out of this is that we have hit bottom in terms of sliding income. That is small comfort to most people, especially when the news was alive with the figures that I mentioned a few days ago, that the top 1 percent of earners scarfed up 95 percent of all income growth in that same period of time when most people were just hanging on to where they were the year before.
The release of poverty data came, coincidentally, just as the latest round of the Forbes 400 richest Americans hit the "newstands." The rich have gotten so rich that even a net worth of $1 billion won't cut it. This year's list required $1.3 billion for admission, and there are 400 Americans who have that much. To put that in perspective, if you had $1.3 billion in the bank, and it was only earning 1.18% per year, the current yield on new US government bonds, your annual income would be $15,340,000, and you wouldn't have had to lift a finger for that. That is the equivalent of 300 families bringing in the US median household income of $51,017, and almost certainly lifting a lot of fingers to do that.