2007, per capita, personal disposable income,

#1
Hello, I'm a TalkStats newb, this is my first real post :) .

I have a source (bea) for average 2007, per capita, personal disposable income ($33,697). I don't think this is applicable for considering personal expenses (gas prices, etc) for the typical American because it is an average and I suspect the average may be skewed by the top 1% or 2% income. (I am a bit familiar with the gini ratio which shows a widening wage gap.) I'm trying to elevate political/news debate a bit by considering 'typical'-American income, and then looking at the effects of weekly and monthly expenses such as gas with a sense of perspective; right now I'm concentrating on income for the 'typical' American (for lack of a better word). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

From bea (link above) per capita, personal disposable income data table:
"Per capita disposable personal income is total disposable personal income divided by total midyear population estimates of the Census Bureau."

Thanks.
 

TheEcologist

Global Moderator
#2
Hello, I'm a TalkStats newb, this is my first real post :) .

I have a source (bea) for average 2007, per capita, personal disposable income ($33,697). I don't think this is applicable for considering personal expenses (gas prices, etc) for the typical American because it is an average and I suspect the average may be skewed by the top 1% or 2% income. (I am a bit familiar with the gini ratio which shows a widening wage gap.) I'm trying to elevate political/news debate a bit by considering 'typical'-American income, and then looking at the effects of weekly and monthly expenses such as gas with a sense of perspective; right now I'm concentrating on income for the 'typical' American (for lack of a better word). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

From bea (link above) per capita, personal disposable income data table:
"Per capita disposable personal income is total disposable personal income divided by total midyear population estimates of the Census Bureau."

Thanks.
Hi Again,

Here in Europe our governments always like to talk about mean income as well (because it’s always a little higher/ skewed by the top few percentiles, and can even go up while the majority gets poorer).

This is why trade unions prefer to talk about the median income as they think it gives a better picture concerning the situation of the average Joe.

I tend to agree with the trade unions, median income is a better estimate. [and so should all statisticians who know that the mean is not a valid measure for central tenancy when the distribution is skewed] Maybe you can email the BEA for the median value? :)

Distances between quartiles will work too and they give a picture of how skewed income is. The proportion of the lowest quartile income used for food and other “essential living expenses” is often used by NGO’s to indicate the state of poverty in a country.

So basically I feel that median or other decile values are of more use than the mean when it comes to income (which lets admit is never "normally" distributed).
 
#3
Hello, I'm a TalkStats newb, this is my first real post :) .

I have a source (bea) for average 2007, per capita, personal disposable income ($33,697). I don't think this is applicable for considering personal expenses (gas prices, etc) for the typical American because it is an average and I suspect the average may be skewed by the top 1% or 2% income. (I am a bit familiar with the gini ratio which shows a widening wage gap.) I'm trying to elevate political/news debate a bit by considering 'typical'-American income, and then looking at the effects of weekly and monthly expenses such as gas with a sense of perspective; right now I'm concentrating on income for the 'typical' American (for lack of a better word). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

From bea (link above) per capita, personal disposable income data table:
"Per capita disposable personal income is total disposable personal income divided by total midyear population estimates of the Census Bureau."

Thanks.
The median provides a general idea on what the average American really has for disposable income (since 33k is wayyy higher than disposable levels really are). Also, I know there are methods of calculating an average after removing outliers. I don't know the formula exactly, but I think it had to do with Inner-Quartile Ranges. Also, what about just removing the bottom 2% and top 2%? It seems like it might be a worse alternative to finding a specific outlier removal formula, but it should give you a good idea as to what the real number is. It all depends on if you want concrete evidence to formally present to people or if you just want an idea on what the average American is really making.

http://answers.*****.com/question/index?qid=20071230145207AA9ICTN

That link has a pretty similar question with some decent answers in it. Among them is the IQR without outliers that I mentioned, but the first "chosen" answer may be best.
 
#4
The median provides a general idea on what the average American really has for disposable income (since 33k is wayyy higher than disposable levels really are). Also, I know there are methods of calculating an average after removing outliers. I don't know the formula exactly, but I think it had to do with Inner-Quartile Ranges. Also, what about just removing the bottom 2% and top 2%? It seems like it might be a worse alternative to finding a specific outlier removal formula, but it should give you a good idea as to what the real number is. It all depends on if you want concrete evidence to formally present to people or if you just want an idea on what the average American is really making.

http://answers.*****.com/question/index?qid=20071230145207AA9ICTN

That link has a pretty similar question with some decent answers in it. Among them is the IQR without outliers that I mentioned, but the first "chosen" answer may be best.
Could you repost that link? (it does not seem to work.) I have been clicking around the net for a while since TheEcologists reply looking for median household income or income broken down. I have thought about removing top and bottom 2%, or using some data broken down into quarters or fifths, but I don't see that with per-capita-disposable-US income; just average. I've been googling for a while.
 

TheEcologist

Global Moderator
#5
Could you repost that link? (it does not seem to work.) I have been clicking around the net for a while since TheEcologists reply looking for median household income or income broken down. I have thought about removing top and bottom 2%, or using some data broken down into quarters or fifths, but I don't see that with per-capita-disposable-US income; just average. I've been googling for a while.
The Forum uses autocensorship, so replace the asteriks with a common large internet brandname that like Bill's company is struggling to compete with a large internet search site.

You might have to actually request the data to do what you want.... I dont know about the US but for us it is publically accesable.