Two of the three states in New York’s Tristate area had the country’s highest median household income in 2006 — but New York was not among them. New Jersey and Connecticut were joined by Maryland as the states whose inhabitants had the loftiest median incomes in the U.S. last year, according to information reported this summer by the Census Bureau. West Virginia and Mississippi tipped the opposite end of the scale with the lowest.

No matter where the bucks are, they’re spread over an increasingly diverse array of 111 million U.S. households: 55 million with married couples; 30 million with just one resident; 19 million with unmarried family members, and seven million with nonfamilial co-habitants. Back in 1960, by comparison, there were 53 million households counted by the census and 39 million of them housed married couples, noted Census Bureau spokesman Robert Bernstein.

So, at last count, married couples occupied half of all U.S. domiciles, down from 62 percent in 1960.

As the country’s median age has slowly but steadily climbed from 32.8 years in 1990 to 36.4 today, more workers are remaining in the workforce past the age of 65. Nearly one-in-four of those ages 65 through 74 were employed last year, up from 20 percent in 2000. Metro areas with the largest such contingents in 2006 included Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Houston, all with roughly 28 percent still in the workforce. Ranking first was Washington, D.C., with 32 percent.


Real median household income: $48,200

Highest income1: Asian-American HHs: $64,200; Western U.S.: $52,200.

Lowest income: African-American HHs: $32,000; Southern U.S.: $43,900.

Real median earnings for women: Fell 1.2 percent in 2006.

Real median earnings for men: Fell 1.1 percent in 2006.

Women earned: 77 cents for each dollar earned by men in 2006.

Home ownership: 67.3 percent of occupied homes, or 75 million households, are owned by their residents.People without health insurance: 47 million

Families in poverty2: 7.7 million, or 10.3 percent of 75 million families.

Apparel spending by the 35-and-older set: $49 billion in the 12 months ended July 31, flat versus a year ago.

Apparel items bought by the 35-and-older set: 3.8 billion in the 12 months ended July 31, down 1.4 percent from a year ago.

Notes: 1 indicates high/low income breaks span five racial/ethnic groups, including whites, non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans.
2 indicates Poverty thresholds for a family of four, $20,614; for an individual, $10,294.
Source: 2007 Current Population Survey; 2006 American Community Survey; THE NPD Group.

Consumer spending on apparel was flat in the 12 months ended this July, despite Americans’ rising median income and the presence of more people in the workforce later in life.

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