December 29, 2009 3:48 PM

A plethora of numbers traces a decade of change

At the beginning of the decade, the median average household income in the United States was $44,900, and Bill Gates, running Microsoft, then America's most valuable business, was worth an estimated $85 billion. As the first decade ends, the median average income, adjusted for inflation, is down to $38,924 and Gates' inflation-adjusted net worth is just $38.5 billion. Exxon Mobil has supplanted Microsoft as the country's most valuable company.

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