Who’s Got How Much?
To measure income inequality—a measure of wealth and poverty that can be applied to any geographical area—economists use quintile rankings. These rankings divide households into five groups according to income. Each group accounts for one-fifth of the number of households. Table 10.2 shows the income breakpoints for each quintile of U.S. households for 2007, 2000, 1990, 1980, and 1970, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Table 10.2 U.S. Household Income Limits by Quintile (upper limit of each quintile—with the exception of the fifth quintile—in current dollars, rounded to nearest 100)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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