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Background: 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


  • Sang Truong and Humberto Barreto, PhD

  • Department of Economics and Management, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN

  • Supported by: DePauw University Hewlett Mellon Presidential Fund

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