Population grows, actually

[From here,](https://np.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/ol1uv6/the_simpson_family_was_supposed_to_represent_the/h5d0fcm/) a poster makes a bold claim about income in the United States:

>So, from 1984 to 2020:

>- GDP, the value generated by all of the business done in the US, went up by 518%.

- Housing prices went up by 421%. It seems like they skyrocketed, but it's actually *less* than the increase in GDP!

- Wages went up by... 340%.

First a bit about the numbers quoted. All are nominal. Housing prices are taken from [census data](https://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/historical_data/index.html) and are for new houses alone (although [FRED disagrees by 3%](https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=Ft4S) for some reason.) Wages refers to [average net compensation](https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/awidevelop.html) as calculated by the SSA (*not* AWI as claimed; whether this is a *good* metric is up for debate, but it seems to [track growth-wise with median personal income](https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=Ft68).) 


They don't account for population growth. Wages and housing prices are inherently per capita (or at least per worker and per household respectively) as they are earnings and expenses on a personal basis. GDP, conversely, is an aggregate over the entire population, so it should grow as the population grows. [Comparing housing and wages to GDP *per capita*](https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=Ft88) (and substituting person income for wages because I couldn't find it on FRED) we see GDP per capita grew to 371% of it's 1984 value, and was outpaced by house prices. Income did see less growth, but only around 40% less, a far cry from the 200% claimed, and that can of course be in part explained by [that one Minneapolis Fed paper.](https://www.minneapolisfed.org/article/2008/where-has-all-the-income-gone)

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