Trend Analysis Reports
The Economic Boom of the 1990s Lifted All Boats
Local churches and nonprofit organizations that depend on donations for all or most of their income are beginning to feel the pinch and wish for the good old days of the past decade. During the 1990s, American families in all demographic segments had a significant increase in their incomes even when an adjustment is made to remove the effect of inflation.
Even low-income families saw an increase, and, unlike the 1980s, there was relatively little difference in the growth of incomes among the families with lowest incomes and the families with the highes tincomes. (See graph.)
The growth in earnings was greatest for those families headed by men and women with college degrees. Where both heads of household did not have even a secondary diploma, there was no increase in income. In fact, that is the only demographic segment in which there has been little or no increase in family income from 1992 through 2001. The incomes of Black and Hispanic families grew at the same rate as White families from 1992 to 1998, but then stopped growing while the incomes of White families increased by 10% from 1998 through 2001.
Trend Analysis Report (2003) - Source: Federal Reserve Bulletin, January 2003, published by the Federal Reserve Banks