How Much Does the Average American Make?

How Much Does the Average American Make

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the median personal annual income for adults is $35,805. Meanwhile, the median salary per household is $67,521.

To get the median, the U.S. Census Bureau gathers data over the past 12 months from anyone age 15 and older. It then lines up all income values in numerical order to find the middle value, known as the median. Half of all households make either more or less than this value.

Knowing the median income is helpful for those who want a salary comparison with their peers. It’s also a good way of telling if they’re getting paid a fair amount in their industry.

So, how much does the average American make? It depends on several factors, such as gender, age range, education level, and geographic location. With that in mind, here are some recent statistics to understand where your annual net income stacks up.

Summary of Average U.S. Income

The median U.S. household income was $67,521 in 2020. This is about a 3% decrease from the median household income in 2019. For the most part, the average annual income has gone up in the past few decades.

Here are some other key findings about the median salary in the U.S. and how much the average American makes:

  • The average annual income is $91,547.
  • The median earnings for individual males are $49,389, while their female peers make $35,838 in similar fields and positions.
  • Around 12% of Americans make between $35,000 and $49,999 yearly.
  • Households with individuals ages 45 to 54 earn the highest median income at an estimated $90,359.
  • The two lowest earning groups are those ages 65+ ($46,360) and those who are 15-24 years old ($46,886).
  • Asian households have the highest median income at $94,903.
  • Hispanic ($55,321) and Black ($45,870) households have the lowest annual median income.
  • Maryland is the state with the highest median income at $84,805.
  • Mississippi has the lowest median income at $45,081.

Median U.S. Annual Income by Year

The median income fluctuates yearly, but it has seen a general upward trend since 1967. From 2019 to 2020, the median U.S. annual income dropped 2.9% across all households. This marks the first major decline since 2011.

Here is data on the median income over the past decade or so, according to Statista.

Year Median household income (by year) Median individual income (by year)
2020 $67,521 $39,027
2019 $69,560 $39,871
2018 $64,324 $37,004
2017 $62,626 $35,980
2016 $60,309 $34,963
2015 $58,476 $33,617
2014 $55,613 $32,220
2013 $56,479 $31,705
2012 $54,569 $31,231
2011 $54,673 $30,500
2010 $55,520 $30,440

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income for full-time workers (households) in 2021 was $51,480. In the second quarter of 2022, it was around $54,132.

One thing to note is that the information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics may differ from that of the Census Bureau. This is because they use different methods to collect and analyze data.

Demographics Stats

When it comes to determining the median or average income, gender and age play a major role. The median income and potential lifetime earnings can vary quite a bit based on these factors. Additionally, the income data for these demographics show interesting patterns in the median U.S. salary. They also make it easier to make more accurate salary comparisons.

Median Annual Income by Gender

As of 2020, female employees who worked full-time year-round still earned less than their male counterparts. There has been some progress towards achieving equal pay and bridging the annual income.

However, there is still a significant gap in earnings based on gender. Based on