Below, find United States average individual income by education and median individual income by education in 2021. Per tradition, also find the top 1% and individual income percentiles by education in the attached percentile calculator.
Find the statistics for people with education attainment:
- Grades 1, 2, 3, or 4
- Grades 5 or 6
- Grades 7 or 8
- Grade 9
- Grade 10
- Grade 11
- 12th grade, no diploma
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Some college but no degree
- Associate's degree, occupational/vocational program
- Associate's degree, academic program
- Bachelor's degree
- Master's degree
- Professional school degree
- Doctorate degree
Average and Median Income by Education
Overall in 2021, the median individual income for a worker in the United States was $42,225. The average income was $63,214.03. See our individual income research for details.
The next chart shows the median and average income broken down by educational attainment:
For every educational achievement category*, here is the average, median, and top 1% percentile income:
|Attainment||Average Income||Median Income||Top 1% Income|
|Grades 1, 2, 3, or 4||$29,992.45||$24,000.00||$94,875.00|
|Grades 5 or 6||$26,973.36||$25,000.00||$101,100.00|
|Grades 7 or 8||$34,593.72||$25,000.00||$160,000.00|
|12th grade, no diploma||$27,055.11||$20,028.00||$120,000.00|
|High school diploma or equivalent||$42,393.66||$32,500.00||$190,025.00|
|Some college but no degree||$45,915.87||$35,000.00||$212,003.00|
|Associate's degree, occupational/vocational program||$55,160.19||$45,000.00||$219,000.00|
|Associate's degree, academic program||$53,176.14||$43,103.00||$212,425.00|
|Professional school degree||$162,268.29||$120,500.00||$780,000.00|
*Read these as "highest educational achievement". For example, "Doctorate Degree" means graduated with a degree, not only pursued.
Income by Education Visualization, Comparison, and Income Percentile Calculator
Here is a calculator for plotting income percentile by education. It includes every income percentile for each group. Enter an income plus educational attainment to see where that income would rank.
Additionally, use the chart to overlay multiple educational groups. Then you can compare attainment cohorts for every percentile.
Income Percentile by Education Methodology
This data uses 2021 IPUMS-CPS data to calculate incomes versus educational attainment. See the income percentile calculator for methodology around the worker screen – I've only included people who were in (or close to) the workforce in full-year 2020. Also, find the deeper explanation of education attainment here.
Sarah Flood, Miriam King, Renae Rodgers, Steven Ruggles and J. Robert Warren. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 8.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2020.
https:/Sarah Flood, Miriam King, Renae Rodgers, Steven Ruggles, J. Robert Warren and Michael Westberry. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 9.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2021. https://doi.org/10.18128/D030.V9.0
Workforce Size by Educational Achievement
This next table shows the number of samples we used to make the estimates, and the number of "workers" that maps to in the screen. You can use this information to decide just how much you trust the estimates – if at all!
|Educational Attainment||Estimated Workers||Samples|
|Grades 1, 2, 3, or 4||666,565||373|
|Grades 5 or 6||1,574,073||820|
|Grades 7 or 8||1,594,015||811|
|12th grade, no diploma||2,081,725||1,029|
|High school diploma or equivalent||44,726,055||22,136|
|Some college but no degree||28,981,582||13,892|
|Associate's degree, occupational/vocational program||7,550,820||3,908|
|Associate's degree, academic program||10,787,805||5,266|
|Professional school degree||2,682,436||1,340|
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