Median income

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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.

Median income can be calculated by household income, by personal income, or for specific demographic groups.

Gallup gross median household income[edit]

In 2013, Gallup published a list of countries with median household income, based on a self-reported survey of approximately 1000 adults from each country.[1] Using median, rather than mean income, results in a much more accurate picture of the typical 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 do not take taxes and social contributions into account.[1]

* The US Census reports that median household money income during the 2006-2012 period averaged over $50,000, therefore by comparison, the Gallup result is underreported compared to Census' own figures.[2] A study on the Census income data claims that when correcting for underreporting, U.S. gross median household income was $57,739 in 2010 (table 3).[3]

Median equivalent adult income[edit]

The annual median equivalence disposable household income for selected OECD 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.

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)[4] Year
1  Luxembourg 38,516 2013
2  Norway 36,043 2013
3   Switzerland 34,608 2013
4  Australia 31,340 2014
5  United States 30,960 2014
6  Canada 29,521 2013
7  Austria 29,278 2013
8  Iceland 27,919 2013
9  Denmark 27,157 2013
10  Belgium 26,922 2013
11  Netherlands 26,820 2014
12  Sweden 26,627 2013
13  Finland 25,810 2014
14  Germany 25,140 2013
15  France 24,547 2013
16  New Zealand 23,304 2012
17  Ireland 22,200 2013
18  South Korea 22,176 2014
19  Japan 21,675 2012
20  Italy 20,860 2013
21  United Kingdom 20,769 2013
22  Slovenia 19,736 2013
23  Spain 19,242 2013
24  Israel 17,802 2014
25  Czech Republic 15,391 2013
26  Slovakia 14,171 2013
27  Portugal 14,053 2013
28  Poland 13,630 2013
29  Estonia 13,366 2013
30  Greece 11,719 2013
31  Hungary 11,709 2014
32  Russia 10,746 2010
33  Lithuania 10,465 2013
34  Latvia 10,381 2013
35  Romania 10,198 2017
36  Turkey 9,066 2013
37  Chile 8,800 2013
38  Mexico 5,160 2014
39  Bulgaria 3,932 2015
  • An academic study on the Census income data claims that when correcting for underreporting, U.S. gross median household income was 15% higher in 2010 (table 3).[3] The OECD uses the Census ASEC as its source for the US [5]

Median household income and the US economy[edit]

This graph shows the income of the given racial and ethnic groups, in 2014 dollars.[6]

Since 1980, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has increased 67%,[7] while median household income has only increased by 15%.

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. A recent recession was the early 2000s recession and began with the bursting of the dot-com bubble. It affected most advanced economies including the European Union, Japan and the United States. An economic recession will normally cause household incomes to decrease, often by as much as 10% (Figure 1).

The Late-2000s recession 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 triggered a global financial crisis. In constant price, 2011 American median household income was 1.13% lower than what it was in 1989. This corresponds to a 0.05% annual decrease over a 22-year period.[8] In the mean time, GDP per capita has increased by 33.8% or 1.33% annually.[9]

A comparison between Median Equivalised Household Income and GDP per Capita in USD for select developed countries is shown in the chart below.[10][11]

In 2015, the median household income spiked 5.2 percent, reaching $56,000, making it the first annual hike in median household income since the start of the Great Recession.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Worldwide, Median Household Income About $10,000". Gallup. 
  2. ^ http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/demo/p60-249.pdf
  3. ^ http://bea.gov/about/pdf/Fixler_Johnson.pdf
  4. ^ http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=IDD
  5. ^ http://www.oecd.org/els/soc/IDD-Metadata.pdf
  6. ^ 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: 2014 (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 8. 
  7. ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". www.imf.org. 
  8. ^ "Income Data". 
  9. ^ "Bureau of Economic Analysis". www.bea.gov. 
  10. ^ "OECD (2011), Society at a Glance 2011 - OECD Social Indicators". OECD. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "World Economic Outlook database October 2007". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Picchi, Aimee (September 13, 2016). "Median Household income increases". CBS News. Retrieved September 13, 2016.