- The median household income in the United States is $61,937.
This figure from the U.S. Census is actually the figure from 2018, reported in September of 2019. 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. (We can see this when we look at the mean household income for 2018 of $87,864 — much higher than the median household income.)
The median income of $61,937 in 2018 was a 2.7% increase over the prior year, when $60,336 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, the median income is significantly higher, at $76,401. If that family household includes a married couple, the median is much higher, at $91,348. Households that do not include a family have a median income of just $37,004. These numbers make sense, because “family” households are more likely to have multiple earners and/or have older adults who are further in their careers.