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This graph shows income of a given percentage as a ratio to median, for 10th, 20th, 50th, 80th, 90th, and 95th percentile, for 1967–2003.
(50th percentile is 1:1 by definition.)
This graph shows the household income of the given percentiles from 1967 to 2003, in 2003 dollars. The light blue line represents the median household income.[1] Note the numbers on the left hand side.
This graph shows the income of the given percentiles from 1947 to 2007, in 2007 dollars.[2]

Income inequality in the United States of America is the extent to which income, most commonly measured by household or individual, is distributed in an uneven manner, in the United States. While there seems to be consensus among social scientists that some degree of income inequality is needed, the extent of income inequality and its implications on society continue to be a subject of great debate, as they have been for over a century.[3] The majority of social scientists believe that income inequality currently poses a problem for American society with Alan Greenspan stating it to be a "very disturbing trend."[4][5] Meanwhile, other, mostly conservative social scientists argue that income inequality is mainly the result of more workers in the average household and their age and education, and that the disappearance of the middle class is more statistical than real[6] In a 2004 poll of 1,000 economists (from the AEA), a majority of polled economists favor "redistribution".[7] A study by the Southern Economic Journal found that "71 percent of American economists believe the distribution of income in the US should be more equal, and 81 percent feel that the redistribution of income is a legitimate role for government."[8] Data from the United States Department of Commerce and Internal Revenue Service indicate that income inequality has been increasing since the 1970s,[9][10][11][12][13] whereas it had been declining during the mid 20th century.[14][15] As of 2006, the United States had one of the highest levels of income inequality, as measured through the Gini index, among high income countries, comparable to that of some middle income countries such as Russia or Turkey,[16] being one of only few developed countries where inequality has increased since 1980.[17]

As I've often said... this [increasing income inequality] is not the type of thing which a democratic society—a capitalist democratic society—can really accept without addressing. - Alan Greenspan, June 2005

In the early half of the 20th century, both the border closure movement and high school movement taking place in the United States shifted out the supply of skilled work. As a result, the country experienced falling inequality due to falling wages of skilled workers relative to unskilled workers. Despite a decrease in inequality during the 1940s, 50s and 60s, inequality has been increasing since.[14] While income increased among all demographics,[18] the upper-most earners saw substantially larger increases.[19] According to economist Janet Yellen "the growth [in real income] was heavily concentrated at the very tip of the top, that is, the top 1 percent."[20] A 2006 analysis of IRS income data by economists Emmanuel Saez at the University of California, Berkeley and Thomas Piketty at the Paris School of Economics showed that the share of income held by the top 1% was as large in 2005 as in 1928. The data revealed that reported income increased by 9% in 2005, with the mean for the top 1% increasing by 14% and that for the bottom 90% dropping slightly by 0.6%.[12] Between 1979 and 2005, the mean after-tax income for the top 1% increased by 176%, compared to an increase of 69% for the top quintile overall, 20% for the fourth quintile, 21% for the middle quintile, 17% for the second quintile and 6% for the bottom quintile.[21] For the same time span the aggregate share of after-tax income held by the top percentile increased from 7.5% to 14%.[21] The diminishing political clout of labor unions, resulting from declining union membership rates, and less government redistribution as well as decreased expenditure on social services are commonly cited as the main causes of this trend.[17] Economist Timothy Smeeding summed up the current trend of rising inequality on the pages of the Social Science Quarterly:[22]

Americans have the highest income inequality in the rich world and over the past 20–30 years Americans have also experienced the greatest increase in income inequality among rich nations. The more detailed the data we can use to observe this change, the more skewed the change appears to be... the majority of large gains are indeed at the top of the distribution.

While education and increased demand for skilled labor is often cited as a cause of increased inequality,[23] many social scientists, such as economists Paul Krugman and Timothy Smeeding and political scientists Larry Bartels and Nathan Kelly, point to public policy and partisan politics as an important cause of inequality. They point out that education, labor force, and demographic changes cannot be the sole cause of the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and that the U.S. is unique in having experienced such a rise in inequality - a trend that, if caused by education, labor force, and demographic factors, would have manifested itself in other developed nations.[22][24][25] In addition, there is strong evidence that the party of the president and the ideological content of public policy have powerfully shaped the path of income inequality over time.[24][26] While expertise, productiveness and work experience, inheritance, gender, and race had a strong influence on personal income,[27][28] household income was largely affected by the number of income earners, contributing to inequality between households based on the number of earners in them.[14] Yet, other causes for income inequality, especially some of those behind its recent rise, likely remain unknown.[20]


Household income

Share of pre-tax household income received by the top 1%, top 0.1% and top 0.01%, between 1917 and 2005.[29][30]
Household income levels and gains for different percentiles in 2003 dollars.[31]

Inflation adjusted income data from the Census Bureau shows that household income has increased substantially for all demographics, with larger gains experienced by those with higher incomes. The emergence of dual-earner households has had a substantial impact on increasing household income, especially among households in the upper 20%. Along with the entrance of women into the labor force, the discrepancy between those households with one and those with multiple earners was amplified significantly.[14] As of 2005, 42% of all U.S. households and 76% of those in the top quintile had two or more income earners.[32] Income rose considerably faster in the higher regions of the household income strata. Between 1967 income increase experienced for the 95th percentile, the lower threshold for the upper 5%, was 555.73% as large as the increase in median income, which in turn was 150.63% as large as the increase in income for the 20th percentile. While the percentage of household with two or more income earners varied greatly across these three demographics, it is nearly identical for the 80th and 95th percentile. In 2003 a household in the 95th percentile earned 77.2% more than a household in the 80th percentile, compared to 60.5% in 1967, a 27.6% increase in the earnings increase discrepancy between the two groups. Overall the income of the 95th percentile grew 15.2% faster than that of the 80th, 146.8% faster than that of the median and 159.9% faster than that of the 20th percentile.[31]

Inflation adjusted percentage increase in after-tax household income for the top 1% and the four quintiles, between 1979 and 2005 (gains by top 1% are reflected by bottom bar; bottom quintile by top bar).[21]

Gross annual household income does not, however, always accurately reflect standard of living or socio-economic status, as it does not consider household size.[33] Therefore, a large household in the upper quintile may have a lower standard of living than a small household in the fourth quintile. Similarly an upper middle class household with one income earners may have a lower gross annual household income than a lower middle class household with two income earners.[14] As households in the upper quintile tend to be larger than households in lower quintiles, differences in household income may be larger than differences in standard of living. A recent analysis of income quintile data revealed that the aggregate share of income held by the upper quintile decreases by 20.3% when figures are adjusted to reflect household size.[34] It should thereby be noted that since 1967, the mean household size in the US has decreased 20.8%,[35] while income disparities have increased. In 2003, the upper 20% household, who were home to roughly 25% of persons, earned 49.7% of all income before and 39.6% of income, after size adjustments.[34] Conservatives commonly focused on the flaws of household income as a measure for standard of living in order to refute claims that income inequality is growing, becoming excessive or posing a problem for society.[36] Liberals maintain that all measures have certain flaws but seem to undoubtedly indicate a significant increase in income inequality[11]

Data Total gain Percent gain 2003 2000 1997 1994 1991 1988 1985 1982 1979 1976 1973 1970 1967
20th percentile $3,982 28.4% $17,984 $19,142 $17,601 $16,484 $16,580 $17,006 $16,306 $15,548 $16,457 $15,615 $15,844 $15,126 $14,002
Median (50th) $9,980 29.9% $43,318 $44,853 $42,294 $39,613 $39,679 $40,678 $38,510 $36,811 $38,649 $36,155 $37,700 $35,832 $33,338
80th percentile $34,602 62.6% $86,867 $87,341 $81,719 $77,154 $74,759 $75,593 $71,433 $66,920 $68,318 $63,247 $64,500 $60,148 $55,265
95th percentile $65,442 73.8% $154,120 $155,121 $144,636 $134,835 $126,969 $127,958 $119,459 $111,516 $111,445 $100,839 $102,243 $95,090 $88,678

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2004[1] (Page 44/45)

Statistical variations

Various methods are used to determine income inequality and result in statistically misleading information. For example, the US Census Bureau and the CIA Factbook show about the same 15:1 ratio between top and bottom. However, different methods are used as well as different percentages of the population. One compares top and bottom 20% and the other top and bottom 10%. The methods are obviously different if the ratio resultants are the same. Figures for 2007 are as follows: The Census Bureau states "Share of aggregate income received by households" Lowest 20% = 3.4% of total income and the highest 20% = 49.7%, a ratio of 14.62 to 1.[37] The CIA Fact Book states "Household income or consumption by percentage share" Lowest 10% = 2.0% of total income and highest 10% = 30.0%, a ratio of 15 to 1.[38]

Personal income

Median personal income for all earners, 1975 - 2005.[39]

Personal income represents the earnings of individuals and, therefore, directly reflects occupational status, achievement and educational attainment. While many, though not the majority, of income earners reside in households with more than one income earner, trends in personal income are more indicative of the job market and the economy than household income. Personal income has risen considerably since 1953, especially for female workers. For male workers, however, income stagnated during the 1970s and 1980s, increasing substantially during the 1990s and then stagnating once more since 2000.[40] During the early 1980s, median earnings decreased for both sexes, not increasing substantially until the late 1990s. Since 1974 the median income for workers of both sexes increased by 31.7% from $18,474 to $24,325, reaching its high-point in 2000.[39] Income inequality has increased considerably as well with the top 1% receiving much larger gains than all other demographics. This group has pulled ahead of other income earners including the remainder of the top 10% considerably during the past few years.[12][19] Since the 1970s, inequality increased during the 1980s, decreased slightly during the late 1990s and has since continued its overall increasing trend.[13][20] According to Gini index data income inequality among all workers with incomes increased by roughly 20% since 1967. Both increasing median income, largely connected to an increase in educational attainment, and income inequality with the very top earners gaining a larger share has characterized personal income trends during the past thirty or so years.[12]

...from 1973 to 2005... real hourly wages of those in the 90th percentile—where most people have college or advanced degrees—rose by 30 percent or more... among this top 10 percent, the growth was heavily concentrated at the very tip of the top, that is, the top 1 percent. This includes the people who earn the very highest salaries in the U.S. economy, like sports and entertainment stars, investment bankers and venture capitalists, corporate attorneys, and CEOs. In contrast, at the 50th percentile and below—where many people have at most a high school diploma—real wages rose by only 5 to 10 percent - Janet L. Yellen, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, November 6, 2006[20]

Gini index

Gini index for households, 1967 to 2001.[9]

To date, one of the most commonly used measure of income inequality is the Gini index. The Gini coefficient measures income inequality on a scale from 0 to 1, based on the Lorenz Curve. On this scale 0 represents perfect equality with everyone having the exact same income and 1 represents perfect inequality with one person having all income (Scores are then commonly multiplied by 100 to make them easier to understand).[41] According to the United Nations (UN), gini index ratings for countries range from 24.7 in Denmark to 74.3 in Namibia. Most post-industrial nations had a gini coefficient in the high twenties to mid thirties. The UN places the US Gini index rating at 40.[42] Since the Census Bureau started measuring the Gini coefficient in 1967, it has risen by 20% for full-time workers and 18% for households. Among households, the index has risen from 39.7 to 46.9,[43] from 31.4 to 42.4 among men and from 29.8 to 35.7 among women.[44] According to Gini coefficient data, income inequality in the U.S., already among the highest in the post-industrial world,[16] has risen considerably between 1967 and 2005 among households[43] and individuals.[44]

The Gini index has risen very quickly among a large number of nations besides the US, in particular Japan, where it rose from 24 in the early 1990s to about 39 in 2007, a much faster increase and larger increase than in the US. The same has happened in China and much of East Asia, which has seen very fast economic growth. That said, the reasons behind the increase in the Gini index across many countries from the 1990s through the mid 2000's are still unknown. In 2005 the gini index for the EU was estimated at 31[45]. Even though the EU has virtually no interstate income redistribution power(EU budget ~1% of GDP, there are no EU taxes, no EU social policy, no EU treasury) and a bunch of poorer new member states joined in 2004.

Gini index, Persons, age 25+, employed full-time[44] Gini index, Households[43]
Men Women Both sexes
1967 2005 Increase 1967 2005 Increase 1967 2005 Increase 1967 2005 Increase
31.4 42.4 35.0% 29.8 35.7 19.8% 34.0 40.9 20.3% 39.7 46.9 18.1%

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006


Percent of households with 2+ income earners, and full-time workers by income.[32]

Income inequality has many causes, some of which are relatively clear, others which remain unknown and yet others which remain disputed.

At a structural level, a basic cause of household income inequality is differences in "hours worked per household (per year)", which may be decomposed as

number of workers × weeks worked per year × hours worked per week.

As the chart at right demonstrates, this is a significant factor in lower income households, all of these factors rising significantly from the 1st to the 4th quintiles, but a relatively minor factor in upper-income households (4th and 5th quintile), varying only slightly compared to the variations in income.

Beyond total hours worked, income inequality is due to different rates of income per hour, and unearned income, and the causes of these differences are more more complicated and contentious, as described below, though are largely correlated to education level.

At a statistical level, income inequality has grown due to gains of higher-income (above median) households relative to the median, rather than losses of lower income households relative to the median, which has been occurring roughly linearly (on a log scale) since the 1960s, as indicated in chart at top. Income inequality has grown particularly due to increased concentration of income in top earners (top 1%, .1%, 0.01%) since the mid-1980s. Again, the causes of this increasing wealth concentration in higher income households are debated.


Real causes

All societies feature some income inequality as the positions people hold in these societies vary in responsibility, importance and complexity. In order to provide sufficient incentive for a wide variety of occupations to be filled with motivated incumbents societies need to provide a variety of rewards.[46] Income is among the perhaps most prominent forms of compensation. Since abundant supply decreases market value, the possession of scarce skills considerably increases income.[27] In the United States part of the increasing gap between the top 30% and the bottom 70% of society is attributed to the large increase of single parent households. The large increase in immigration over the past several decades, with foreign born workers increasing from about 5% of the workforce in 1970 to over 15% in 2005, has also increased income disparities, as the majority are immigrating from poor countries, come to the US, and attempt to work their way out of poverty and into the middle class.

There have also been increasing returns to education, due to changes in technology, and a rise in compensation based on performance, not lockstep pay, has also increased the pay differential between those in the top quintiles.

Educational attainment, alongside the amount of work done by individuals are among the main determinants of income. The vast majority of Americans derive their income from occupational tasks and the utilization of their expertise. The notable exception is the lower class, where the most common source of income was not occupational status, but government welfare.[47] Yet, in general individual income is largely determined by occupational achievement and merit, with household income depending considerably on the number of income earners.[citation needed]

As expected, households in the upper quintiles are generally home to more, better educated and employed working income earners, than those in lower quintiles.[34] Among those in the upper quintile, 62% of householders were college graduates, 80% worked full-time and 76% of households had two or more income earners, compared to the national percentages of 27%, 58% and 42%, respectively.[27][28][32] Upper-most sphere US Census Bureau data indicated that occupational achievement and the possession of scarce skills correlates with higher income.[32]

Role of education

Median personal and household income according to different education levels.[48][49]

With increasing human capital for efficiency gains, education in the U.S. has increased enrollment/graduation rates. High school was originally a terminal degree, which was enough at the time of the early high school movement around 1910 when small towns began supplying high schools. In the early stages of the high school movement (which began in the Great Plains and pacific region), most individuals did not continue to pursue a college degree because they did not necessarily have to and those who did pursue college degrees had the financial means to do so. However, as the years progressed, high school became a stepping-stone to achieving higher levels of education. The increased acquisition and subsequent possession of expertise and skill certified through an academic degree increases compensation including income. Increased certified expertise translates into increased scarcity of an individual's occupational qualification which in turn leads to greater economic rewards.[46] As the United States has developed into a post-industrial society over the course of the late 20th century, educational attainment has gained in importance. More and more employers now require workers to possess greater amounts of expertise than they did a generation ago while the manufacturing sector which employed many of those lacking a post-secondary education is decreasing in size.[50] As a result the scarce intellectual skills transferred through post-secondary education curricula have become increasingly important. Thus, income differences between the varying levels of educational attainment were increasing. The resulting economic job market may be referred to as constituting a "two-tier" labor market. In this market the income discrepancy between the professional and working class may be growing. Sociologists such as Dennis Gilbert refer to the professional class as a privileged class due its favorable disposition in the two-tier labor market.[14] Income gains and median levels were higher among those with the higher academic degrees,[27] that is those who possess scarce amounts of certified expertise. In other words, higher educational attainment translates into higher personal income levels and larger income increases over time.The benefits of education are worth the time and effort, especially when considering the high “return” rates of personal income. By examining the “return” to a year of school, income can be determined for each year invested in education. For instance, the equation for “return” to a year of school, say for the 11th grade year is = (income for 11th grade — income for 10th grade)/income for 10th grade. Generally, this implies that more time invested each year in education results in higher income because of increased human capital.

Average earnings in 2002 for the population 18 years and over were higher at each progressively higher level of education... This relationship holds true not only for the entire population but also across most subgroups. Within each specific educational level, earnings differed by sex and race. This variation may result from a variety of factors, such as occupation, working full- or part-time, age, or labor force experience. - Nichole Stoops, US Census Bureau, August 2004[27]

While the higher education commonly translates into higher income,[51] and the highly educated tend to reside in upper quintile households, differences in educational attainment fail to explain income discrepancies between the top 1% and the rest of the population. Large percentages of individuals lacking a college degree are present in all income demographics, including 33% of those with heading households with six figure incomes.[28] In 2005, roughly 55% of income earners with doctorate degrees, the most educated 1.4%, were among the top 15% earners. Among those with Masters degrees, the most educated 10%, roughly half had incomes among the top 20% of earners.[49] Only among households in the top quintile were householders with college degrees in the majority.[28] While discrepancies in educational attainment cannot account for all aspects of income inequality, education remains one of the strongest influences on income distribution, thereby affecting income inequality.[51]

Demographic High school graduate Some college Bachelor's degree or higher Bachelor's degree Master's degree Professional degree Doctorate degree
Median % +/- national median Median % +/- national median Median % +/- national median Median % +/- national median Median % +/- national median Median % +/- national median Median % +/- national median
Persons, age 25+ w/ earnings
Both sexes $26,505 -17.5% $31,054 -3.5% $49,303 +53.4% $43,143 +34.2% $52,390 +63.0% $82,473 +156.6% $70,853 +120.4%
Males $32,085 -18.6% $39,150 -0.6% $60,493 +53.5% $52,265 +32.6% $67,123 +70.3% $100,000 +153.8% $78,324 +98.8%
Females $21,117 -20.3% $25,185 -5.0% $40,483 +52.7% $36,532 +37.82% $45,730 +72.5% $66,055 +149.2% $54,666 +106.2%
Both sexes employed full-time $31,539 -19.8% $37,135 -5.6% $56,078 +42.5% $50,944 +29.5% $61,273 +55.8% $100,000 +154.2% $79,401 +101.8%
$36,835 -20.5% $45,854 -0.8% $73,446 +58.8% $68,728 +48.6 $78,541 +69.9% $100,000 +116.2% $96,830 +109.4%

SOURCE: US Census Bureau, 2004/06[48][49]

While the returns to education increased considerably in the United States since the 1980s, it has not increased as much in many European countries such as Germany, France or the United Kingdom (Freeman, Richard B. and Lawrence F. Katz, editors Differences and Changes in Wage Structures. National Bureau of Economic Research. Comparative Labor Markets Series. The University of Chicago Press, 1995). The reasons for this discrepancy in inequality trends between Europe and the United States is still the subject of much debate but recent work suggests that tight regulations of labor markets in Europe could have prevented the returns to education from rising there as much as in the United States, but at the expense of creating unemployment (Fernández-Kranz, Daniel, “Why has wage inequality increased more in the United States than in Europe: an empirical investigation of the demand and supply of skill,” Applied Economics, Vol. 38, April 2006).

Race and gender disparities

Median income for male and female workers from 1953 to 2005 in constant dollars.[40]
Median personal income by gender and race in 2005.

Income levels remain considerably lower for females than for men with certain racial demographics having median income levels considerably below the national median.[52] Despite, considerable progress in pursuing gender and racial equality, some social scientists attribute these discrepancies in income to continued discrimination.[53] Others argue that the majority of the wage gap is due to women's choices and preferences. Women are more likely to consider factors other than salary when looking for employment. On average, women are less willing to travel or relocate, take more hours off and work fewer hours, and choose college majors that lead to lower paying jobs. Women are also more likely to work for governments or non-profits, that pay less than the private sector.[54][55] According to this perspective certain ethnic minorities and women receive fewer promotions and opportunities for occupation and economic advancement than others. In the case of women this concept is referred to as the glass ceiling keeping women from climbing the occupational ladder. In terms of race, studies have shown that African Americans are less likely to be hired than European-Americans with the same qualifications.[56] The continued prevalence of traditional gender roles and ethnic stereotypes may partially account for current levels of discrimination.[53] In 2005, median income levels were highest among Asian and White males and lowest among females of all races, especially those identifying as African American or Hispanic. Despite closing gender and racial gaps, considerable discrepancies remain among racial and gender demographics, even at the same level of educational attainment.[57]

Since 1953 the income gap between male and female workers has decreased considerably but remains relatively large.[40] Women currently earn significantly more Associate's, Bachelor's, and Master's degrees than men and almost as many Doctorates.[58] Women are projected to have passed men in Doctorates earned in 2006-2007, and to earn nearly two thirds of Associate's, Bachelor's, and Master's degrees by 2016.[59] Despite this, some still argue that male workers still hold higher educational attainment, as the success of women in academia is a relatively new phenomenon.[27] Though it is important to note that income inequality between sexes remained stark at all levels of educational attainment.[52] Between 1953 and 2005 median earnings as well as educational attainment increased, at a far greater pace for women than for men. Median income for male earners increased by 36.2% versus 157.2% among female earners. This mean that the median income of women rose 334.5% as fast as that of men. The extent by which men out-earned women reduced by 61.2%, indicating increased gender equality. Today male workers earn roughly 68.36% more than their female counterparts compared to 176.25% in 1953. Furthermore income has increased more or less continuously for women, while the median earning for men have shown some fluctuation and stagnation since the early 1970s. The median income of men in 2005 was 2% higher than in 1973 compared to a 74.6% increase for female earners.[40] Racial differences remained stark as well with the highest earning sex-gender demographic of workers aged 25 or older, Asian males (who were roughly tied with white males, earning more than twice, 109.7%, as much as the lowest earning demographic, Hispanic females.[60][61] As mentioned above, inequality between races and gender persisted at similar education levels. In 2005, Asian men, age 25+, with a Bachelor's degree or higher earned 203.8% more than Hispanic females (age 25+) with the same educational attainment.[61][62] Racial differences were overall more pronounced among male than among female income earners.

The statistics below are from the U.S. Census, Bureau of Census, 2006 figures.

Demographic Median personal income
Overall Median High school graduate Some college Bachelor's degree or higher Bachelor's degree Masters degree Doctorate degree
White Male[63] $40,432 $33,805 $40,427 $61,175 $55,129 $67,903 $77,818
Female[64] $26,636 $21,306 $25,190 $40,161 $36,076 $45,555 $56,759
Both sexes[65] $32,919 $27,291 $31,510 $49,879 $43,841 $52,244 $71,184
Black Male[66] $30,549 $25,747 $32,758 $46,474 $41,889 $52,488 N/A
Female[66] $25,435 $20,366 $25,574 $42,461 $41,263 $45,830 N/A
Both sexes[67] $27,110 $22,328 $27,589 $44,460 $41,565 $47,407 $61,993
Asian Male[62] $42,217 $28,486 $34,548 $61,165 $51,448 $70,979 $81,676
Female[68] $30,332 $21,057 23,523 $41,442 $37,057 $48,177 $53,659
Both sexes[69] $36,152 $25,285 $29,982 $51,481 $42,466 $61,452 $69,653
Hispanic Male[70] $26,162 $26,579 $33,617 $48,282 $43,791 $60,194 N/A
Female[71] $20,133 $18,886 $25,088 $37,405 $34,302 $47,052 N/A
Both sexes[72] $23,613 $22,941 $28,698 $41,596 $37,819 $50,901 $67,274
All racial/ethnic demographics Male[73] $39,403 $32,085 $39,150 $60,493 $52,265 $67,123 $78,324
Female[74] $26,507 $21,117 $25,185 $40,483 $36,532 $45,730 $54,666
Both sexes[49] $32,140 $26,505 $31,054 $49,303 $43,143 $52,390 $70,853
NOTE: The highest median for each level of educational attainment is highlighted in green, the lowest in orange.

SOURCE: US Census Bureau, 2006

Income at a glance

Median income levels
Households Persons, age 25 or older with earnings Household income by race
All households Dual earner
Per household
Males Females Both sexes Asian White,
Hispanic Black
$46,326 $67,348 $23,535 $39,403 $26,507 $32,140 $57,518 $48,977 $34,241 $30,134
Median personal income by educational attainment
Measure Some High School High school graduate Some college Associate's degree Bachelor's degree or higher Bachelor's degree Master's degree Professional degree Doctorate degree
Persons, age 25+ w/ earnings $20,321 $26,505 $31,054 $35,009 $49,303 $43,143 $52,390 $82,473 $70,853
Male, age 25+ w/ earnings $24,192 $32,085 $39,150 $42,382 $60,493 $52,265 $67,123 $100,000 $78,324
Female, age 25+ w/ earnings $15,073 $21,117 $25,185 $29,510 $40,483 $36,532 $45,730 $66,055 $54,666
Persons, age 25+, employed full-time $25,039 $31,539 $37,135 $40,588 $56,078 $50,944 $61,273 $100,000 $79,401
Household $22,718 $36,835 $45,854 $51,970 $73,446 $68,728 $78,541 $100,000 $96,830
Household income distribution
Bottom 10% Bottom 20% Bottom 25% Middle 33% Middle 20% Top 25% Top 20% Top 5% Top 1.5% Top 1%
$0 to $10,500 $0 to $18,500 $0 to $22,500 $30,000 to $62,500 $35,000 to $55,000 $77,500 and up $92,000 and up $167,000 and up $250,000 and up $350,000 and up
Source: US Census Bureau, 2006; income statistics for the year 2005

See also

Income in the United States
Household income in the United States
Personal income in the United States
Affluence in the United States
Income inequality in the United States

Income by:

State (localities by state)
County (highest | lowest)
Metropolitan area
Urban Areas
ZCTAs (Zip Codes)


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