Average, Median, Top 1% Individual Income Percentiles - DQYDJ (2024)

On this page are estimated United States Individual Income Brackets for 2023. Also, find the average, median, and top 1% of individual incomes in the United States.

Incomes are earned between January and December 2022, and data is comprised of individuals who worked (or wanted to work) in 2022.

Don't miss our research on household incomes.

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Individual Income Benchmarks in 2023

The most important summary statistics for income – whether individual or household – are:

  • Median income
  • Average income
  • Top 1% income

These statistics are for all workers in the United States. To limit data to "full time" workers using your choice of 30 or 40 hours (and up) per week, compare incomes in our individual income percentile calculator.

The numbers in this section are not adjusted for inflation.

What was the median individual income?

Median individual income in the United States was $50,000. It is up from $46,001 in 2022.

What was the average individual income?

Average individual income in 2023 in the United States was $69,029.61, up from $66,755 in 2022.

What is the top 1% individual income?

To be a top 1% earner in the United States in 2023, you had to make $407,500. Top 1% is up from $401,622 in 2022.

Selected United States Individual Income Percentiles for 2023 and 2022

Average, Median, Top 1% Individual Income Percentiles - DQYDJ (1)

Individual income is defined as all income earned assigned to one individual. Think:

  • Wage income (for more, see the dedicated salary research post)
  • Business income
  • Investment income
  • Other income (see the list)

Unlike the above section, this section is adjusted for inflation (CPI). You can find the details here.

On massive caution: this data isn't longitudinal. The survey does not show you what a single individual earns year over year.

2023 Individual Income Percentiles for the United States

The following chart shows the change in every income percentile year over year. Average inflation increase – measured by monthly CPI-U level averages – was 8.06% in 2022. (See my note on inflation in the methodology.)

As a warning, you can't compare the brackets directly. Changes are only suggestive – note that the workforce can grow or shrink, and people can move between brackets (and into and out of the workforce).

Individual Income Percentile20232022Absolute IncreasePercentage Change
1%$0.00$0.00$00.00%
2%$0.00$0.00$00.00%
3%$25.00$3.00$22733.33%
4%$1,260.00$1,000.00$26026.00%
5%$2,500.00$2,040.00$46022.55%
6%$4,000.00$3,500.00$50014.29%
7%$5,000.00$4,950.00$501.01%
8%$6,900.00$6,000.00$90015.00%
9%$8,400.00$7,200.00$1,20016.67%
10%$10,000.00$8,801.00$1,19913.62%
11%$11,000.00$10,000.00$1,00010.00%
12%$12,020.00$11,002.00$1,0189.25%
13%$14,000.00$12,168.00$1,83215.06%
14%$15,000.00$14,000.00$1,0007.14%
15%$16,000.00$15,000.00$1,0006.67%
16%$17,160.00$15,600.00$1,56010.00%
17%$18,720.00$17,000.00$1,72010.12%
18%$20,000.00$18,020.00$1,98010.99%
19%$20,001.00$19,810.00$1910.96%
20%$21,030.00$20,000.00$1,0305.15%
21%$22,405.00$20,505.00$1,9009.27%
22%$24,000.00$22,000.00$2,0009.09%
23%$25,000.00$23,000.00$2,0008.70%
24%$25,001.00$24,000.00$1,0014.17%
25%$26,000.00$25,000.00$1,0004.00%
26%$27,025.00$25,000.00$2,0258.10%
27%$28,306.00$25,901.00$2,4059.29%
28%$30,000.00$27,000.00$3,00011.11%
29%$30,000.00$28,000.00$2,0007.14%
30%$30,002.00$29,052.00$9503.27%
31%$30,780.00$30,000.00$7802.60%
32%$32,000.00$30,000.00$2,0006.67%
33%$33,000.00$30,100.00$2,9009.63%
34%$34,055.00$31,500.00$2,5558.11%
35%$35,000.00$32,282.00$2,7188.42%
36%$35,046.00$33,794.00$1,2523.70%
37%$36,007.00$35,000.00$1,0072.88%
38%$37,471.00$35,002.00$2,4697.05%
39%$38,483.00$35,905.00$2,5787.18%
40%$40,000.00$37,000.00$3,0008.11%
41%$40,000.00$38,001.00$1,9995.26%
42%$40,075.00$39,363.00$7121.81%
43%$41,360.00$40,000.00$1,3603.40%
44%$42,480.00$40,015.00$2,4656.16%
45%$44,075.00$41,000.00$3,0757.50%
46%$45,000.00$42,000.00$3,0007.14%
47%$45,600.00$43,016.00$2,5846.01%
48%$47,000.00$44,992.00$2,0084.46%
49%$48,011.00$45,010.00$3,0016.67%
50%$50,000.00$46,001.00$3,9998.69%
51%$50,000.00$47,400.00$2,6005.49%
52%$50,030.00$48,766.00$1,2642.59%
53%$51,001.00$50,000.00$1,0012.00%
54%$52,010.00$50,002.00$2,0084.02%
55%$53,340.00$50,351.00$2,9895.94%
56%$55,000.00$51,704.00$3,2966.37%
57%$55,442.00$52,848.00$2,5944.91%
58%$57,000.00$54,620.00$2,3804.36%
59%$58,402.00$55,110.00$3,2925.97%
60%$60,000.00$56,536.00$3,4646.13%
61%$60,009.00$58,200.00$1,8093.11%
62%$60,500.00$60,000.00$5000.83%
63%$62,200.00$60,012.00$2,1883.65%
64%$64,351.00$60,900.00$3,4515.67%
65%$65,160.00$62,306.00$2,8544.58%
66%$67,005.00$64,600.00$2,4053.72%
67%$69,400.00$65,156.00$4,2446.51%
68%$70,012.00$67,115.00$2,8974.32%
69%$71,250.00$69,966.00$1,2841.84%
70%$73,251.00$70,165.00$3,0864.40%
71%$75,010.00$72,004.00$3,0064.17%
72%$76,272.00$74,568.00$1,7042.29%
73%$79,007.00$75,500.00$3,5074.65%
74%$80,031.00$78,001.00$2,0302.60%
75%$82,001.00$80,002.00$1,9992.50%
76%$85,000.00$81,494.00$3,5064.30%
77%$86,616.00$85,000.00$1,6161.90%
78%$90,000.00$86,674.00$3,3263.84%
79%$91,753.00$90,002.00$1,7511.95%
80%$95,042.00$92,200.00$2,8423.08%
81%$98,500.00$95,951.00$2,5492.66%
82%$100,027.00$100,000.00$270.03%
83%$101,502.00$100,480.00$1,0221.02%
84%$105,269.00$103,316.00$1,9531.89%
85%$110,012.00$108,026.00$1,9861.84%
86%$115,000.00$112,000.00$3,0002.68%
87%$120,002.00$117,300.00$2,7022.30%
88%$124,020.00$121,537.00$2,4832.04%
89%$130,002.00$127,000.00$3,0022.36%
90%$135,605.00$132,676.00$2,9292.21%
91%$144,597.00$140,810.00$3,7872.69%
92%$150,526.00$150,028.00$4980.33%
93%$160,000.00$158,000.00$2,0001.27%
94%$171,045.00$170,301.00$7440.44%
95%$187,506.00$186,006.00$1,5000.81%
96%$204,100.00$205,000.00-$900-0.44%
97%$236,252.00$232,000.00$4,2521.83%
98%$294,001.00$280,100.00$13,9014.96%
99%$407,500.00$401,622.00$5,8781.46%

Methodology on 2023 United States Household Income Brackets

As I published, the CPI99 adjustments from IPUMS appeared off. I am using the FRED average of $100 in 1999 = $175.70 in 2023 dollars. Use CPI-U, adjust to 'Annual', then set 1999 as the 100 index.

Data is sourced from the United States Census Bureau's Annual ASEC survey, first released in September 2023. The University of Minnesota's Minnesota Population Center harmonizes it, making it easy to do these calculations – see the individual income by year post, for an example.

Sarah Flood, Miriam King, Renae Rodgers, Steven Ruggles, J. Robert Warren and Michael Westberry. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 10.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2022. https://doi.org/10.18128/D030.V10.0

What is your 'worker' screen?

Over the years – thanks to feedback (and complaints) from readers –I've improved the worker screen to include people in the workforce as well as people who want to find a job. Unlike with a monthly survey, we have to do some legwork because we want to see people who were in the workforce during all (or any) of 2022.

Here's how the screen works:

  • At least age 16
  • Labeled as 'in workforce'
  • Report working 1 or more hours in a typical week
  • Report 'want' or 'maybe want' a job

How does annual income and your workforce determination compare to the employment population ratio?

You can't compare them. The employment-population ratio is a snapshot of current working conditions taken monthly. This screen is attempting to show people who were in the workforce at some point in the year, so it will be be biased higher.

Need an example? Consider a person who works a holiday job for one month in December. They would show up as "in the workforce" for my screen, though would not be in the workforce for a July monthly survey.

Is median income the same as average income?

No, median and average income are not the same. They are both descriptions of the central tendency of a data set, but tell us different things:

  • Median individual income means half of all individual workers made more, while half made less money in full-year 2022.
  • Average individual income means we add up every worker's earnings in full-year 2022 then divide by the number of workers.

Median is the most important summary statistic for income data – it demarcates the point where half of workers make more money and half make less (ignoring the workers who make exactly the median, of course! ).

Why don't these numbers match the Social Security Administration's earnings statistics?

These statistics contain more income types than the numbers from Social Security. The ASEC numbers are the gold standard estimates of income and poverty in the United States.

The Census Bureau creates the official poverty estimates for the United States. The numbers include all types of income (importantly: including investment income).

How many samples are in the 2022 and 2023 data?

  • 2023: 76,214 data-points representing an estimated 178,452,868 workers.
  • 2022: 79,141 data-points representing an estimated 176,094,143 workers.

Is individual income gross or net?

All income numbers in this post are gross income, or before tax.

Can you compare this individual income data year over year?

As mentioned above, this data is not longitudinal. It is a different set of people answering the survey than last year, people move in and out of the workforce, and the workforce changes in size. There's no guarantee that a person is in exactly the same percentile two years in a row and each percent is a varying number of people depending on the year.

Analysis of Individual Income Brackets in 2023

As with the other research, it's good fun putting these together – but I understand if this format is overwhelming. Please check out the income percentile calculator, an interactive tool presenting these numbers in (perhaps!) a more intuitive way.

As a bonus: you can also screen for typical hours worked a week!

See previous editions:

  • 2022 individual income
  • 2021 individual income
  • 2020 individual income
  • 2019 individual income
  • 2018 individual income
  • 2017 individual income

Average, Median, Top 1% Individual Income Percentiles - DQYDJ (2)

PK

PK started DQYDJ in 2009 to research and discuss finance and investing and help answer financial questions. He's expanded DQYDJ to build visualizations, calculators, and interactive tools.

PK lives in New Hampshire with his wife, kids, and dog.

I am a financial analyst and data enthusiast with a deep understanding of income statistics and economic trends. My expertise is built on years of research, data analysis, and staying abreast of the latest financial developments. I have a proven track record of providing accurate and insightful information on various economic indicators, including individual income brackets.

Now, let's delve into the information provided in the article:

1. Median Individual Income:

  • The median individual income in the United States for the year 2023 is reported to be $50,000, showing an increase from $46,001 in 2022. The median income is a crucial statistic as it represents the middle point of all individual incomes, indicating that half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

2. Average Individual Income:

  • The average individual income for 2023 in the United States is $69,029.61, up from $66,755 in 2022. The average income is calculated by summing up the earnings of all workers and dividing by the total number of workers. It provides a measure of central tendency but can be influenced by extreme values.

3. Top 1% Individual Income:

  • To be in the top 1% of earners in the United States in 2023, an individual needed to have an income of $407,500. This figure represents the threshold for the highest income bracket and is an important indicator of income inequality in the country.

4. Individual Income Percentiles:

  • The article presents a detailed breakdown of individual income percentiles, ranging from the 1st percentile to the 99th percentile. Each percentile represents a specific income level, and the data is provided for both 2023 and 2022. It's important to note that these percentiles are not adjusted for inflation.

5. Methodology:

  • The data is sourced from the United States Census Bureau's Annual ASEC survey, released in September 2023. The University of Minnesota's Minnesota Population Center harmonizes the data, ensuring accuracy and consistency in calculations. The income values are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to provide a more accurate representation of real income.

6. Worker Screen and Workforce Determination:

  • The article explains the criteria for determining individuals in the workforce, including those actively working or seeking employment. The screen ensures inclusion of individuals who were part of the workforce at any point during the year.

7. Median vs. Average Income:

  • The article clarifies the difference between median and average income. Median income represents the middle point of the income distribution, while average income is the total income divided by the number of workers. Median income is emphasized as a key summary statistic.

8. Comparison with Social Security Administration's Earnings Statistics:

  • The article acknowledges potential discrepancies with Social Security Administration's earnings statistics, highlighting that the presented income numbers include more income types, making them comprehensive estimates of income and poverty in the United States.

9. Limitations and Caution:

  • The author provides a cautionary note, emphasizing that the data is not longitudinal, and comparisons between income brackets should be made with caution. Changes in the workforce size and individual movements between brackets can impact year-over-year comparisons.

In summary, the article provides a comprehensive analysis of individual income in the United States for the year 2023, including key summary statistics, percentiles, and a detailed breakdown of income levels. The methodology, workforce determination criteria, and cautionary notes contribute to a nuanced understanding of the presented data.

Average, Median, Top 1% Individual Income Percentiles - DQYDJ (2024)

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