Median household income
Median income is the amount that divides the income distribution into two equal groups, half having income above that amount, and half having income below that amount. Mean income (average) is the amount obtained by dividing the total aggregate income of a group by the number of units in that group.
Household income is not to be confused with family or personal income. Household income is often the combination of two income earners pooling the resources and should therefore not be confused with an individual's earnings.
The annual median equivalised disposable household income for selected countries is shown in the table below. This is what each equivalent adult in a household in the middle of the income distribution earns in a year.
Data are in United States dollars at current prices and current purchasing power parity for private consumption for the reference year.
|Rank||Country||Median income (US$, PPP)||Median income (US$, nominal)||Year|
- Based on analysis of the CPS data, US median household income was under-counted by a ratio of 83%, thus making median income $35,007 but for the undercounting.
Median household income and the US economy
Since 1980, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has increased 67%, while median household income has only increased by 15%. An economic recession will normally cause household incomes to decrease, often by as much as 10% (Figure 1).
Median household income is a politically sensitive indicator. Voters can be critical of their government if they perceive that their cost of living is rising faster than their income. Figure 1 shows how American incomes have changed since 1970. The last recession was the early 2000s recession and was started with the bursting of the dot-com bubble. It affected most advanced economies including the European Union, Japan and the United States.
The current crisis began with the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble, which caused a problem in the dangerously exposed sub prime-mortgage market. This in turn has triggered a global financial crisis. In constant price, 2011 American median household income is 1.13% lower than what it was in 1989. This corresponds to a 0.05% annual decrease over a 22-year period. In the mean time, GDP per capita has increased by 33.8% or 1.33% annually.
- List of countries by average wage
- List of U.S. states by income
- Mean household income
- Income distribution
- Income quintiles
- Household income in the United States
- International Ranking of Household Income
- Median household income in Australia and New Zealand
- Median income per household member
- Places in the United States with notable demographic characteristics
- Poverty in the United States
- "OECD Statistics". OECD. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
- DeNavas-Walt, Carmen; Proctor, Bernadette D.; Smith, Jessica C. (September 2012). "Real Median Household Income by Race and Hispanic Origin: 1967 to 2010". Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011. U.S. Census Bureau. p. 8.
- "OECD(2011), Society at a Glance 2011 - OECD Social Indicators". OECD. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "World Economic Outlook database October 2007". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 12 March 2012.