Visualizing Income Distribution in the United States

8 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2020

Date Written: September 12, 2020


Visit to see a novel, eye-catching visual display of the income distribution in the United States that conveys fundamental information about the evolution and current level of income inequality to a wide audience. We use IPUMS CPS data to create household income deciles adjusted for price level and household size for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia from 1976 to 2018. We adjust for state price differences from 2008 to 2018. Plotting these data gives a 3D chart that provides a startling picture of income differences within and across states over time. Those interested in further customization can use our Python visualization toolbox, incomevis, available at

Keywords: visualization, household income, inequality, microdata, big data, data-mining, Python

JEL Classification: A10, A20, J10

Suggested Citation

Barreto, Humberto and Truong, Sang, Visualizing Income Distribution in the United States (September 12, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Humberto Barreto (Contact Author)

DePauw University ( email )

Greencastle, IN 46135
United States
765-365-4099 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://

Sang Truong

DePauw University ( email )

408 South Locust
Greencastle, IN 46135
United States
765-721-0999 (Phone)


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