Have Middle-Income Parents Improved Their Economic Status?

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Have Middle-Income Parents Improved Their Economic Status?

February 23, 2007

Between 1989 and 2004, middle-income parents experienced moderate income growth, but only married parents have gained net wortha significant fact given that the share of households headed by an unmarried parent increased from 26 to 33 percent over the same period. Using data from the Federal Reserve Board's Surveys of Consumer Finances, income measures alone show that middle-income unmarried parents gained some ground relative to married parents. However, trends in net worththe value of what households own minus the value of what they owediverged by marital status, demonstrating the importance of looking beyond income data.

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