The majority of measures shown in these charts are derived from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements (ASEC), which is conducted in March of every year. Conducted jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CPS is a monthly survey of approximately 55,000 households and is the source of the nation’s official statistics on unemployment. The ASEC survey in March typically features a larger sample size. Data on income and poverty from the ASEC survey serve as the basis for the well-known Census Bureau report on income and poverty in the United States. The Census Bureau’s historical tables on educational attainment are based on the ASEC. The historical marital status tables also use the ASEC. The ASEC microdata files were provided by the IPUMS at the University of Minnesota.
The wealth analysis is based on the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) that is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Department of Treasury. It has been conducted every three years since 1983 (however, it was not fielded in 1986) and is designed to provide detailed information on the finances of U.S. families.
The figures on life expectancy at birth are from table 15 of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.