Income Inequality in the United States


Tim Thorton
SUNY Brockport

For this assignment we will explore the impact of gender and race on the earnings of full-time workers in 2000. The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to some basic data analysis software (WebCHIP), to develop some familiarity with working with data from the Current Population Survey, and to apply what you have learned in the course to try to explain differences in earnings based on race and gender.

Learning Goals


After using this module, students will gain skills in:

  • Using software to access and analyze census data
  • Identifying independent and dependent variables
  • Employing control variables¬†
  • Forming testable hypotheses using quantitative data
  • Quantitative writing Learning how to construct, read, and interpret bivariate tables displaying frequencies and percentages
  • Using real world data to enhance and support key course concepts

Context for Use

In this exercise designed for an introductory sociology course, students will use WebCHIP and data analysis to assess whether there are income discrepancies related to race and gender.

Description and Teaching Materials

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses a customized data set made from the 1990 Census and guides students through data manipulation using WebCHIP software found at DataCounts!. To open WebCHIP with the dataset for the activity, please see instructions and links in the exercise documents under teaching materials. For more information on how to use WebCHIP, see the How To section on DataCounts!


References and Resources