Median Income of Average U.S. Households Smaller than 15 Years Ago

Monday, September 21, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

The average American household has less income than it had 15 years ago, according to figures from the Census Bureau.


In 1999, the median income of U.S. households was $57,843 in 2015 dollars. In 2014, that family was making only $53,657, down 7.2% from 1999. Americans still haven’t recovered the income they had before the recession that began at the end of the George W. Bush administration; the median income in 2007 was $57,357.


But as usual, life’s good if you’re among the wealthy. The richest 10% of Americans saw their income increase from $150,000 in 2013 to $157,500 in 2014, while income of the top 5% increased from $196,000 to $206,600.


Income inequality is also up. F. Scott Fitzgerald would be jealous; the gap between rich and poor is greater now than it was in 1928.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Why Americans Still Think the Economy Is Terrible (by Neil Irwin, New York Times)

The Richest Americans Got Richer Last Year While the Rest of Us Muddled Along (by Bryce Covert, ThinkProgress)

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014 (by Carmen DeNavas-Walt and Bernadette D. Proctor, U.S. Census Bureau) (pdf)

Majority of Americans don’t have Bank Balances that Exceed One Month’s Income (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)

Household Wealth Since the Recession: Average American Down; Members of Congress Up (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

The Key to U.S. Income Statistics: Average Family Income is Growing; Median Family Income is Falling (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)


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