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Income by Race: Average, Top One Percent, and Inequality

August 22nd, 2020 by 
PK

In other posts, we've addressed how income by age and individual income differs. Unfortunately, even age doesn't tell the whole story – there are differences in income earned by race and ethnicity in the United States. Let's look at the racial income gap, average income by race, median income by race and the top one percent for the US in 2018.

We'll look at groups by race, ethnicity, and Hispanic origin. We have individual pre-tax income statistics for:

  • White Non-Hispanic
  • Hispanic or Latino of any Race
  • Black
  • Asian
  • American Indian
  • Pacific Islander
  • Two or More Races

Let's dig into the statistics.

Average and Median Income by Race

In America, Asian workers made the highest individual income at $69,091.08, while Hispanic or Latino workers of any race made the least at $38,484.99.

United States Average and Median Income by Race (2018)
Average and Median Income by Race in the United States (2018).

What was the average income for White Non-Hispanic workers?

The average White Non-Hispanic worker made $62,285.71. Their median income was $44,803.00.

What was the average income for workers who are Hispanic or Latino of any race?

The average Hispanic or Latino worker of any race made $38,484.99. They made a median income of $28,000.00.

What was the Black average income?

An average Black worker made $41,933.53. The Black median income was $31,000.00.

How much did the average Asian make?

The average Asian worker made $69,091.08. The Asian median income was $48,000.00.

How much did the average Pacific Islander make?

An average Pacific Islander worker made $46,176.64. The Pacific Islander median income was $33,000.00.

How much did the average American Indian make?

The average American Indian worker made $43,205.40. The American Indian median income was $30,000.00.

Top One Percent Income by Race and Hispanic Origin

Overall in the United States, the top one percent of all workers made $300,577. Divided to races and ethnicities the top one percent income by race varied quite a bit.

The highest top one percent income was Asian at $400,999.00. The lowest was Hispanic or Latino at $200,081.00 and Black at $200,819.00.

What was the top one percent income for White Non-Hispanic workers?

A top one percent White Non-Hispanic worker made $337,986.00.

What was the top one percent income for workers who are Hispanic or Latino of any race?

A top one percent Hispanic or Latino worker of any race made $200,081.00.

What was the Black top one percent income?

A top one percent Black worker made $200,819.00.

How much did a top one percent Asian worker make?

A top one percent Asian worker made $400,999.00.

How much did a top one percent Pacific Islander worker make?

A top one percent Pacific Islander worker made $245,000.00.

What was the American Indian top one percent income?

A top one percent American Indian worker made $283,600.00.

The Racial Income Gap in the United States

Unfortunately, every race and ethnicity doesn't have the exact same income distribution in America. While we aren't able to fix income disparity with this post, we can show its status in the United States.

When you overlay income by race and Hispanic Origin for every percentile, it's clear that there are very large racial income gaps in the US. This image shows the income percentile for race and Hispanic origin for the lowest 1% of workers up to the 99% (top one percent).

Racial income gap in the United States in 2018 for all income percentiles.
Income Disparity – the 'Racial Income Gap' – by Race in the United States in 2018

Income Percentile Methodology

This data uses 2018 IPUMS-CPS data to calculate incomes. See the income percentile by race calculator for more details.

Sarah Flood, Miriam King, Renae Rodgers, Steven Ruggles, and J. Robert Warren. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 6.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2018. https://doi.org/10.18128/D030.V6.0

The Unfortunate Differences in Income by Race

Even though America is unparalleled at providing prosperity to a wide variety of people, there are still large racial income gaps.

White and Asian workers make much more than their friends from other races and ethnicities. Even at the top one percent, Asian workers make roughly double what Hispanic or Latino or Black top one percent workers make.

Hopefully this post was interesting and educational, so you could see the average income for all races, as well as the serious racial income gap in America. For more specific comparisons, also try the income percentile by race calculator.

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