Trend in median market income, 1990-2010

Children living in two-parent families with two earners were better off in 2010 compared to 1990 with an average income increase of 15%. Single earner families showed an 11% decrease in income from 1990 to 2010.


The median income of single-earner families with children decreased over the two decades. With little to no gains in income, accompanied by increases in spending and debt, many of today’s families are walking a “financial high wire”.1 Furthermore, living in a two-earner family reduces the likelihood of poverty. During the recession, two-earner couples with children had one of the lowest poverty rates among all family types (3.4%).1


Vanier Institute of the Family. “Fascinating Families.” Accessed on June 29, 2012 at