The U.S. Spends Far Too Little on Social Welfare

The US government has a spending problem. Given the country’s level of wealth, the government spends far too little — at least $1.6 trillion a year too little — on social welfare. This exacerbates problems like poverty and inequality, and makes life a lot harder for a lot of people — from families with young […]


In 1941, we introduced our first edition of Facts & Figures. “There is need for concise and accurate data,” we wrote. “Facts give a broader perspective; facts dissipate predilections and prejudices. . . [and] this collection of data is an important step to meet the challenge presented by the broad problems of public finance.” Facts […]

The Distribution of Household Income, 2014

Summary In 2014, household income was unevenly distributed: Households at the top of the income distribution received significantly more income than households at the bottom of the distribution. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates: • Average income among households in the lowest quintile (or fifth) of the income distribution was about $19,000 (see Summary […]