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Who Makes More Money in America?

Terence P. Jeffrey on

The money earned by American households has grown enormously since 1967, when President Lyndon Baines Johnson was still in office and the hippie generation was celebrating its so-called Summer of Love.

The median household income in the United States that year was $50,803 in constant 2021 dollars, according to the Census Bureau's newly released annual income report.

Last year, according to the Census Bureau, the median household income was $70,784 in constant 2021 dollars (after dropping from the pre-pandemic high of $72,808 it hit in 2019).

In the 54 years from 1967 to 2021, inflation-adjusted median household income in this country grew by $19,981 -- or 39.3%.

It is true, however, that not all American households have benefited equally from this massive increase in household income. Some types of households, as this column has noted before, tend to bring in more income than others.

So, which American households had higher incomes in 2021 and which had lower?

 

Last year, America saw a continuation in some longstanding patterns distinguishing households with higher incomes from those with lower incomes.

Higher education was the characteristic that led in 2021 to the highest median income among American householders 25 and older.

The median income of American households where the householder had a bachelor's degree or higher was $115,456. If the householder had only completed some college, the median income was $64,378. If the householder had only completed high school, the median income was $50,401. But among households where the householder had never even graduated from high school, the median income was $30,378.

Americans who obtained a bachelor's degree or higher had a median income 3.8 times greater than the median income of Americans who had ended their education before graduating from high school.

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