Average Income by Age plus Median, Top 1%, and All Income Percentiles

Written by:
PK

In this post are United States individual income brackets by age for 2022. You'll also find average income by age, median, and top 1% by age.

Individual incomes here are limited to Americans who worked (or wanted to work) in full-year 2021. Incomes are gross (pre-tax) – and earned between January and December 2021.

If you missed them: we also have research on household incomes and individual incomes.

Individual Income Benchmarks by Age in 2022

2022 income percentiles by age in the United States

Age is an excellent way to break down income comparisons – it's a great quick proxy for experience. While it's not always true, generally older folks will have more experience in a given field.

(Of course, you can think of the exceptions: career switching, job loss, and so on.)

And – like with other breakdowns of the population – the best summary statistics of income are:

  • Median income
  • Average income
  • Top 1% income

What is the median individual income by age in the United States?

These are the median incomes by age for 2022 in the United States for some selected ages:

  • Age 25: $35,000.00
  • Age 35: $52,776.00
  • Age 45: $57,000.00
  • Age 55: $55,000.00
  • Age 65: $58,000.00

This following table has every age (well, from 16-75) plus median income in 2022 in the United States:

AgeMedian Income
16$2,000
17$3,013
18$6,000
19$11,515
20$16,479
21$20,000
22$20,000
23$25,000
24$30,000
25$35,000
26$38,000
27$41,001
28$42,002
29$45,000
30$45,003
31$45,704
32$48,002
33$49,000
34$50,000
35$52,776
36$52,010
37$52,103
38$52,000
39$53,100
40$54,896
41$53,119
42$56,000
43$55,100
44$58,000
45$57,000
46$55,950
47$60,000
48$56,875
49$58,301
50$55,002
51$60,001
52$55,884
53$60,000
54$56,022
55$55,000
56$55,350
57$52,000
58$55,000
59$50,033
60$57,000
61$56,438
62$54,001
63$59,801
64$55,650
65$58,000
66$55,028
67$59,830
68$60,028
69$60,082
70$54,800
71$54,953
72$53,340
73$60,792
74$50,100
75$53,432

What is the average income by age in the United States?

Here are the 2022 average incomes by age for age 25 and ten year intervals:

  • Age 25: $42,943.11
  • Age 35: $71,388.71
  • Age 45: $81,303.94
  • Age 55: $83,291.85
  • Age 65: $82,909.61

This table has every age (16-75) plus average income in 2022:

AgeAverage Income
16$5,785
17$7,761
18$10,754
19$15,640
20$19,526
21$22,364
22$24,706
23$30,118
24$36,054
25$42,943
26$47,873
27$50,299
28$54,221
29$54,719
30$59,819
31$57,537
32$63,165
33$62,047
34$66,313
35$71,389
36$71,346
37$69,505
38$74,890
39$74,456
40$71,525
41$75,907
42$81,285
43$79,293
44$79,303
45$81,304
46$79,092
47$82,043
48$80,901
49$81,243
50$77,529
51$85,858
52$77,526
53$88,138
54$83,192
55$83,292
56$78,162
57$82,172
58$76,562
59$78,545
60$81,424
61$79,541
62$86,680
63$88,359
64$87,986
65$82,910
66$79,208
67$89,158
68$86,361
69$84,067
70$84,946
71$91,062
72$84,481
73$90,258
74$83,387
75$73,327

What is the top 1% individual income by age in the United States?

Here are the summary top 1% income benchmarks starting at 25 years old and moving up a decade at a time:

  • Age 25: $160,201.00
  • Age 35: $347,103.00
  • Age 45: $421,905.00
  • Age 55: $501,500.00
  • $484,120.00

Treat this data with more skepticism than the median and average (just look at age 43 and 65 – can't be perfectly accurate).

There are fewer high earners by definition, so the numbers will jump around. Before you take a single age's measure as "truth", maybe look at a couple adjacent ages for a good feel of what the "actual" 1% might be.

That in mind, here is the chart for top 1% income by age in the United States in 2022:

AgeTop 1% Income
16$45,000
17$79,000
18$65,002
19$71,001
20$80,004
21$83,002
22$93,691
23$100,005
24$149,501
25$160,201
26$237,507
27$203,551
28$217,172
29$240,001
30$338,500
31$252,670
32$320,900
33$296,000
34$406,001
35$347,103
36$391,451
37$304,027
38$433,410
39$395,509
40$330,011
41$576,004
42$467,203
43$545,563
44$422,200
45$421,905
46$445,201
47$423,000
48$405,395
49$500,040
50$403,724
51$491,280
52$430,952
53$590,000
54$501,053
55$501,500
56$493,229
57$592,501
58$437,022
59$480,815
60$435,000
61$488,500
62$725,754
63$620,201
64$625,172
65$484,120
66$568,650
67$688,347
68$412,806
69$437,201
70$474,201
71$978,626
72$406,000
73$467,016
74$542,000
75$441,200

United States Individual Income Percentiles by Age

Income is all income earned by one individual. That includes:

  • Wage income or earnings
  • Business income
  • Investment income
  • Interest
  • Other income (see the list of all components here)

If you only want to see salary, we have salary by age research too (and a calculator).

Methodology on 2022 United States Age & Income Brackets

This data comes from the United States Census Bureau's Annual ASEC survey. It was released in September 2022.

I then use harmonized data from the University of Minnesota's Minnesota Population Center in R. Citation:

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, 2022. https://doi.org/10.18128/D030.V9.0

What is your 'worker' screen?

Find the full worker screen methodology in the individual income brackets post.

How is the data quality on the income by age data?

I ask, as always, that you be skeptical of the top few percentiles for each age.

Income is relatively well-behaved for the majority of the income curve. However, people at the top generate income from income sources with more volatility: investments, businesses, etc. The entire individual income data comes from a relatively small selection of samples.

To get a sense of the "actual top 1% income" for an age, look at the surrounding years to get a better feel for the data.

Income data points and workers by age in 2022

Here's the exhaustive list of data points and the workers they represent for you to make a reasoned call on data quality by age. There are two numbers:

  • The samples or number of "data points", the actual number of people in the survey
  • The estimated workforce that those data points represent (based on the survey weightings)
AgeSamplesEstimated Workers
166601,265,154
179501,833,524
181,1722,263,854
191,0752,403,656
201,2062,948,725
211,2313,054,139
221,2293,099,409
231,2973,601,708
241,3533,580,562
251,4463,645,940
261,4763,702,120
271,4873,757,569
281,5203,843,548
291,6363,975,695
301,7083,953,421
311,8094,113,124
321,7453,945,490
331,7913,968,732
341,7383,805,085
351,7793,851,963
361,9034,003,834
371,8363,666,533
381,8383,630,982
391,8583,657,821
401,8853,678,749
411,9143,862,541
421,8213,674,148
431,8553,708,494
441,6803,278,608
451,7203,522,558
461,6193,256,151
471,6033,373,664
481,5813,243,922
491,4923,121,054
501,5873,497,858
511,7293,894,389
521,5283,301,516
531,4803,258,666
541,3002,958,606
551,3313,005,958
561,4733,340,291
571,4133,324,822
581,4163,333,876
591,3113,110,912
601,2893,059,780
611,2452,947,162
621,1632,786,193
631,0712,502,147
649552,176,243
658632,060,759
667041,543,895
676031,349,522
685321,238,497
694901,112,454
70417903,967
71354780,907
72310696,418
73276600,712
74259552,354
75188399,068

Is individual income gross or net?

All income by age numbers in this post are gross income, or before tax. If you are comparing an income make sure it is before any tax is taken out.

Analysis of Individual Income by Age Brackets in 2022

This is one of my favorite ways to slice income data. But like the others, it suffers in its complexity. A better way to consume it might be through the companion income percentile by age calculator.

      

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 is in his mid-30s and works and lives in the Bay Area with his wife, two kids, and dog.

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