Household income in the United States

Household income is an economic standard that can be applied to one household, or aggregated across a large group such as a county, city, or the whole country. It is commonly used by the United States government and private institutions to describe a household's economic status or to track economic trends in the US.

Median US household income through 2019
U.S. real median household income reached $63,688 in January 2019, an increase of $171 or 0.3% over one month (December 2018) .[1]
Map of states by median household income in 2015. Darker blue indicates higher income; the detail is included in the image page.
Median household income and taxes

A key measure of household income is the median income, at which half of households have income above that level and half below. The U.S. Census Bureau reports two median household income estimates based on data from two surveys: the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the American Community Survey (ACS). The CPS is the recommended source for national-level estimates, whereas the ACS gives estimates for many geographic levels.[2]:19[3]:10 According to the CPS, the median household income was $63,179 in 2018.[2][4] According to the ACS, the U.S. median household income in 2018 was $61,937.[3] Estimates for previous years are given in terms of real income, which have been adjusted for changes to the price of goods and services.

The distribution of U.S. household income has become more unequal since around 1980, with the income share received by the top 1% trending upward from around 10% or less over the 1953–1981 period to over 20% by 2007.[5] After falling somewhat due to the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, inequality rose again during the economic recovery, a typical pattern historically.[6][7]


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