Average Household Income in the U.S. – 2017

The median household income in the United States is $59,039.

This figure from the U.S. Census is actually the figure from 2016, reported in September of 2017. It is the latest figure available.

Note that technically the median is not the same as the average, though we are using the two terms interchangeably here. The median income is the absolute middle, meaning there are the same number of households above that number, and the same number of households below.

Median is actually a better representation of today’s world than the average would be, because income averages are inevitably skewed by the super rich at the top of the scale, making the “average” household appear to be wealthier than it is. (Remember that the average would be the total of all households’ income divided by the number of households. If Bill Gates’ household makes $1 billion per year and 99 other households make $40,000 – $60,000, we would not consider the average of $1 million+ to be truly representative of that group of households. That is how the super rich can alter this type of statistic.)

The media income of $59,039 in 2016 was a 3.2% increase over the prior year, when $57,230 was the median.

“Family” households generally earn more

A household includes any number of people living under the same roof, and can include multiple incomes or just one. When we look at “family” households that have a married couple and/or children present, the median income is significantly higher, at $73,077. Households that do not include a family have a median income of just $34,232. This stands to reason, as “family” households are more likely to have multiple earners and have older adults who are further in their careers.