Question of the Day
By how much has the most common measure of income inequality for persons in the U.S. risen since 1967?
The Gini index is the most common measure of income inequality, and it has not varied by more than 2% since 1967 for persons in the United States. In contrast, the Gini index for households has risen by 20% in the same period. This is mainly due to family fragmentation that has spread people's incomes over an increasing number of households. Politicians and media outlets have often decried that household income inequality has grown over the past 50 years, while they neglect the fact that the portion of unmarried or nonfamily households rose from 29% to 52% in this era. Hence, they blame the job market for problems actually caused by changing attitudes toward social and ethical matters like sex, marital fidelity, and familial responsibility.