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 their resources and should therefore not be confused with an individual's earnings.
Gallup gross median household income
In 2013, Gallup published a list of countries with median household income. Using median, rather than mean income, results in a much more accurate picture of the average income of the middle class since the data will not be skewed by gains and abnormalities in the extreme ends. The figures are in international dollars using purchasing power parity and are based on responses from at least 2,000 adults in each country, with the data aggregated from 2006 to 2012. Below is a list of the top 30 countries. The figures are before deduction of taxes and social contributions and not adjusted for household size.
- Based on analysis on US median household income, when matched with administrative files and national accounts data, Median household money income during the 2006-2012 period averaged $60,012, therefore by comparison the Gallup result is underreported and is even below the Census' own figures. See Table 3 
The annual median equivalised disposable household income for selected countries is shown in the table below. This is the disposable income of an equivalent adult in a household in the middle of the income distribution in a year.
|Rank||Country||Median income (US$, PPP)||Year|
- Based on analysis of the CPS data, US median household income (based on "cash income" definition) has been consistently underestimated by a ratio of 83-85% (mean under-counted by 75%), thus making "true" median income $37,228-$38,272 but-for the undercounting. Other analysis has shown varying mean rates of quality among countries; For example, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and UK all captured a mean of 85% or more income as compared to the national accounts (details in link—Appendix 4).
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 2014-08-13.
- 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.