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In recent reports, Census has supplemented its measures of income inequality based on household money income with estimates based on equivalence-adjusted income.For reasons having to do with small sample size, data reporting and processing restrictions, and confidentiality considerations, Census provides more limited information about incomes at the very top of the income distribution than it does for incomes elsewhere in the distribution.Census’s standard income statistics do not adjust for the size and composition of households.Two households with ,000 of income rank at the same place on the distributional ladder, even if one is a couple with two children and one is a single individual.An alternative preferred by many analysts is to make an equivalence adjustment based on household size and composition so that the adjusted income of a single person with a ,000 income is larger than the adjusted income of a family of four with the same income.
The third and fourth sections supply additional information on wealth, which complements the income data as a measure of how the well-off Americans are doing.
Final statistics for tax year 2014 were released in August 2016.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) produces annual estimates of the distribution of household income and taxes that combine information from the CPS and the SOI.
However, not all people are required to file tax returns, and tax returns do not reflect all sources of income.
Those who do not file returns are likely to have limited incomes; hence tax data do not provide a representative view of low-income households (the mirror image of inadequate coverage of high-income households in the CPS).A further complication is that the data are available only for “tax-filing units,” not by household or family (members of the same family or household may file separate tax returns).