2016 Household Income Percentile Calculator for the United States

November 2nd, 2020 by 

We present 2016 data in a household income percentile calculator for the United States.  Our data comes from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) survey from the 2016 Current Population Survey, just like our last calculators for 2016 overall income percentiles and income percentiles by age.  As the data was collected in March 2016, it represents full year (January to December) 2015 income data.

This is the first year we have done this calculation for households.  For individual incomes or individual incomes by age, please use the above links.  We also have (2013) net worth by age, which is a household calculation.

Source and Methodology on the Household Income Percentile Calculator

Miriam King, Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Sarah Flood, Katie Genadek, Matthew B. Schroeder, Brandon Trampe, and Rebecca Vick. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 3.0. [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2010.

The University of Minnesota's Population Center does a lot of value-add to the data we're using; you can get it here: IPUMS-CPS.  There is no methodological magic to this calculator, households are a straight dump of the available household data.  There were 69,484 household data points in the available data, representing 126,067,600 households.

How Does Your Household Income Percentile Data Compare to The Census's Data?

Technically, we are working from the same dataset, however our estimates will be slightly lower than the numbers the census has released.  That's because our public use data is both sanitized and top-coded.  Quit simply, that means that responses which are easily identifiable are removed from the dataset, while incomes are set to a maximum.  And, as you can imagine, affluent households are easier to identify (and more likely to be removed), while the ones that remain hit the topcodes.

How does that affect the household income calculators?  Very slightly - but measurably.

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015 from the Census Bureau (pdf) has the source data:

Official 2015 Household Median Income: $56,516
Our 2015 Household Median Income: $56,025

Official 2015 Household Average Income: $79,263
Our 2015 Household Average Income: $79,120.51

It's fair to say that, even with top-coding and sanitation, our numbers are pretty close. Feel free to disagree - but without access to the full dataset, we won't be able to come closer.

What Are Some Household Income Percentiles?

We've run the numbers for the decile income breakpoints to quiet  some of your statistical urges.  To reiterate: this is the minimum household income required to be in each income decile.

Household Income PercentileMinimum Income to Reach, 2015

Household income percentile, by deciles, for 2015 in the United States

In many ways, household income is more interesting than individual incomes.  In the case of multiple workers in a household (Millennials moving home, anyone?), combined resources means a better lifestyle.  It also means you see interesting takes on the substitution and income effects across various members of the household - or a tradeoff in non-leisure household duties.

(Of course, household income also sees more coverage on other sites.  We'll continue to slice the data in multiple ways.)

But hey, we've got a calculator now!  Let us know what you see, and enjoy the household income percentile calculator.



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 lives in New Hampshire with his wife, kids, and dog.

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