Average, Median, Top 1%, and Income Percentile by City

Written by:
PK

In this post, find average income by city and median income by city for the United States in 2021. The tools and filterable tables on the page contain statistics on household and individual gross (pre-tax) income and the 25%, 75%, and 90% income percentile per city (for each category). It's the newest data to this point in 2022.

Below the filterable tables, find an income percentile by city calculator below to compare household or individual income and find the income percentile breakdowns in selected metro areas. You can also add multiple metro areas to see how income compares between cities.

If you're reading this in a feed or your inbox, visit the site – most of the features on this page are interactive.

Individual Income Percentile by City Statistics

Here are tables with summary statistics for individual income by city. Income is pre-tax, earned between January and December 2020.

Find average income by city, median income by city, population, number of workers, and selected income brackets. Cities with enough data points also show that metro's top 1% individual income.

Use the filters up top to select a city, or add or remove columns in the table by clicking on the column toggles.

Household Income Percentile by City Statistics

In the below filterable table are summary statistics for household income by city. All values are gross, pre-tax income earned between January and December 2020.

Find average incomemedian income, and selected income brackets for each metro area in the United States. Additionally, find the population and number of metro households if you choose to turn on those columns. Cities with sufficient data also show top 1% household income.

Income Percentile by City Calculator

This household and individual income by city percentile calculator lets you enter an annual income to see how it compares in various metro areas in the United States. Additionally, if you click or tap in the "Compare Cities" entry field, you can add multiple metros to see the income breakdowns for each.

Note: some cities have sufficient data to show all income percentiles, while others only show deciles.

Using the Income Percentile by City Calculator

  1. First, choose to compare individual income or income earned by a household.
  2. Next, pick the closest city or metro area (you can also search on state abbreviation).
  3. Optionally, add any other metro areas to the comparison.

Income Percentile by City Tool Input Options

Here are the fine details on the metro area calculator:

  • Income: Gross, pre-tax income earned by one individual or a household (dealer's choice!). Income is from any source on this list.
  • Individual or Household: Choose whether you want to compare an individual or household income, to match the income you input.
  • City: The metro area where you would like to compare an income.
  • Compare Cities: Optionally, add other metro areas to see how an income would compare with the percentiles there.

Warning: A city marked with ˟ lacks the data to show all income percentiles. Even cities that show the top 1% are sometimes pushing the results – don't look at that data as exact, but "somewhere in the ballpark".

Income Percentile by City Tool Output

There are two primary outputs:

  • The visualization of income distribution in your selected city (including any others you add)
  • An estimated income percentile (or decile, for metros with fewer survey responses)

Source and Methodology on the 2021 Income Percentile by City Calculator

Our source for the income percentile by city calculator was IPUMS-CPS:

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

For my methodology on incomes and worker definition, see the source articles:

Here is the additional data for cities:

I'll warn you again: there is plenty of uncertainty baked into the income statistics, especially around the top few percent of the income distribution. Directly from the Census Bureau:

"One set of estimates that can be produced from CPS microdata files should be treated with caution. These are estimates for individual metropolitan areas. Although estimates for the larger areas such as New York, Los Angeles, and so forth, should be fairly accurate and valid for a multitude of uses, estimates for the smaller metropolitan areas (those with populations under 500,000) should be used with caution because of the relatively large sampling variability associated with these estimates."

Past results:

      

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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