United States Census Bureau

Goodbye, Payroll Tax Holiday; Hello, Tax Hike for the 47%

Even if you're part of the 47% who don't pay federal income taxes, you probably do pay payroll taxes. A few years ago, President Obama and his allies in Congress cut you a break to ease the pain of the recession: a 2 percentage point payroll tax holiday. Well, the holiday is over.

Pop Quiz: Who Is Living America's Middle-Class Dream?

America's middle class has gotten a lot of attention in the 2012 election, but what, exactly, does "middle class" mean? If you've ever wondered -- and wondered whether or not you're a member of it -- take a peek at our middle-class quiz.

Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?

It's the question every incumbent up for reelection has had to answer since challenger Ronald Reagan first posed it to President Jimmy Carter in 1980. But in this 2012 campaign, the answer is not so simple, for all the rhetoric on both sides.

America's Richest Cities

Median household income in the United States has declined for the second straight year, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau last month. But there are many cities that are doing well. These are America's richest cities.

Holy Smokes! Some People Spend 25% of Their Income on What?!

As far as bad habits go, smoking is a popular example of one to give up. Now there's a new report that makes a dramatic financial case for quitting: In New York State, low-income smokers are spending roughly one-quarter of their income on cigarettes.

What the 'Fiscal Cliff' Will Mean for You

The economy is rumbling along, out of control. Straight ahead, the road abruptly ends, yet the horses show no signs of slowing. Next stop: the fiscal cliff! Here's how the looming crisis will affect the average American family.

Beyond Olympic Uniforms: Where the Products We Love Are Made

Forget all the hullabaloo over Team USA's much maligned, Chinese-made Olympic uniforms; we're a nation of importers. But importing from where? Check out DailyFinance's unscientific survey of some of America's more popular products and where they're actually made.

Sales Taxes for Online Retailers Move Closer to Reality

Brick-and-mortar retailers have long complained that e-commerce sites enjoy an unfair advantage since they don't have to collect state sales taxes, allowing them to offer lower prices. The Marketplace Equity Act would change that -- and it's gaining momentum.

Why Gen Y Can't Get a Job: No Gumption, No Get Up and Go

You could just as well call them "Generation Why Bother." Amid our current hard times, the risk-averse and sedentary Gen Y-ers exhibit little of the gumption that helped prior generations survive their own periods of economic trouble.

The 10 Worst-Paying Cities in America for Women

International Women's Day honors women's successes, and also their struggles for equality. Nearly a century after American women won the universal right to vote, equal pay continues to remain a distant goal. Here are the metropolitan areas where the wage gap is the widest.

Bad 'Dream': Renters Often Do Better than Homeowners

Becoming a homeowner is a rite of passage in America, while renting gets no respect. But when you look at how we really live, it turns out that, even ignoring the recent crash, home ownership isn't the great deal for our finances that we've been led to believe.

10 Worst States for Student Debt

The amount of student loan debt in America will exceed $1 trillion this year, and this week, President Obama acted to ease the burden on millions of college graduates. Which states need that help the most? 24/7 Wall Street breaks down the 10 states with the worst levels of student debt.

Costs of Aging: Retiring Frugally vs. Finding Love

Planning for a happy retirement takes foresight, a lifetime of saving money and little luck. But planning for love? That might cost you. The choices for how we spend our golden years -- and how much we spend -- have a big impact on our social lives, and our chances of discovering new love.

3 Ways to Make the Most of a Payroll Tax Cut

Although GOP senators have blocked action on Obama's $447 billion jobs bill, parts of it may yet get enacted, including an extension and expansion of a payroll tax cut that would put hundreds of dollars more a year in the pockets of ordinary American workers. Here are three smart ways for you to earmark that cash for your future.

The Financial Landscape: Are the Unemployed Against Their Benefits?

The New York Times has found some unemployed people to argue against an extension of jobless benefits: "In a recent survey of the unemployed by Rutgers University, more than one in four respondents was opposed to renewing the current extended unemployment benefits.

Retiring Solo: Singles Aren't Saving Enough

Most married people look forward to enjoying their golden years together -- at least in theory. But sometimes, reality is more bleak. For a host of reasons, millions of us may enter retirement on our own, and a large fraction of divorced, never-married, and widowed Americans aren't doing enough to prepare for it.

Americans Got Poorer in 2010, Says Census Bureau

The Great Recession officially ended in mid-2009, but a recent Census Bureau report shows that, for the average American family, 2010 only brought increased misery: Household incomes plummeted last year, while the number of people living in poverty rose sharply to an all-time high.

College Degree Worth It? What the Data Say

The combination of the high price of college and the less-than-promising job prospects for new grads are fueling a hot debate about the value of a bachelor's degree: Is it worth the money? The Census Bureau parsed the data, and found that of all the variables that effect lifetime earnings, nothing packs the punch that education does.

Will Latinos Drive the Housing Recovery?

More than any other demographic, Latino homeowners were slammed by the mortgage crisis: Two-thirds of total Hispanic wealth in the U.S. evaporated from 2005 to 2009. But as the fastest growing demographic in the nation, they are also well positioned to power the housing rebound.