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Income Percentile by Sex: Average, Median, Top 1% Income and a Calculator in 2020

Written by:
PK

On this page, you'll find a United States income percentile by sex calculator for male income percentile and female income percentile in 2020. You'll also find average, median, and top 1% breakdowns by sex.

Income by Sex: Selected 2020 Statistics

For the following common income statistics questions, we divided results for males and females. As this is a closely watched, controversial data set – we've also normalized earnings for hours worked. That way you can visualize the gender wage gap for your choice of "full-time" workers.

What was the Median Individual Income in 2020 for Women and Men?

In 2020, the median male earned $50,001 while the median female earned $36,001.

For men who worked 30 or more house a week, median income was $55,515. The median female who worked 30+ hours made $45,004.

Men who worked 40+ hours had median income of $58,000. Women who worked 40+ hours had a median income of $48,000.

What was the Average Male Income and Average Female Income in 2020?

For men, the average individual pre-tax income was $72,479.27. For women, the average was $51,602.38.

Similarly, there was a gap for full time workers. For those who worked 30+ hours a week, men averaged $80,772.36 while women averaged $60,444.71. If you consider only 40+ hours full time, men in this group averaged $82,899.93 while women averaged $63,786.78.

What Were the Cutoffs for the Top 10%, Top 5%, and Top 1% of Male and Female Incomes?

In full-year 2020 the cutoffs for the top percentiles were as follows (for all workers and no consideration of hours worked):

SexMaleFemale
Top 10%$150,000$100,500
Top 5%$201,009$136,138
Top 1%$428,005$260,125

There were plenty of data points, so the above data is pretty robust. This next table shows my estimate for the number of male and female workers in each "hours per week" category. It also includes the number of data points used to come up with the numbers.

Men SamplesMen WorkforceWomen SamplesWomen Workforce
All Hours        42,853       92,135,975        40,137       84,078,331
30+ Hours a Week        34,613       73,990,628        29,234       61,231,722
40+ Hours a Week        32,290       68,860,257        24,728       51,890,234

The Income Gap Between Men and Women in 2020

As you can see, when comparing medians or averages there is a major income gap between men and women. However, an unadjusted income gap like the one we're showing isn't the full story.

An appropriate measurement also includes the number of hours worked (an adjustment we made above) as well as other adjustments for the actual jobs worked and things like career gaps.

This is extremely important: controlling for career choice, weekly hours worked, and gaps in work history reduces the income gap between men and women. It does not eliminate the gap.

Accounting for those confounders there is a 3% to 8% unexplained gap in pay between men's and women's earnings in the United States.

See here, here, and here for studies attempting to account for the gap.

Again, there is a real gender income gap even if you normalize known factors across men and women.

Source and Methodology on 2020 Income by Sex

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://doi.org/10.18128/D030.V8.0

You can find my screen for "worker" in the income percentile for individual workers post. The only additional screen is for "usual hours" worked weekly 30+ or 40+ for the respective datasets.

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