Income Percentile by Age Calculator for 2017, United States

November 2nd, 2020 by 

We present 2017 United States data in an individual income percentile by age calculator for every age from 15-80.  Enter income earned in (Jan- Dec) 2016 and we'll estimate where that income fell for that age's distribution. Our data comes from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) survey.

Also on DQYDJ: an income bracket article for all workers. Also try the income by household calculator. For net worth, we have a net worth percentile by age calculator and net worth bracket calculator. Also, see last year's income by age calculator.

Accredited Investors in America Based on Income and Age

Net worth – not income – is the primary way investors become Accredited Investors (although there are criteria considering income). Accredited investors can access ventures capital and private equity funds, and other investments such as franchises and hedge funds.

See our estimates of Accredited Investors by age for more but results vary. Around .52% of households headed by a 25-29 year old are Accredited up to 16.5% for 80+ years old. See our post on the number of accredited investors in America for more.

Source and Methodology on the Income Percentile by Age Calculator

As stated in the introduction, the microdata comes from the ASEC which we prepare and slice in R. IPUMS-CPS from the University of Minnesota's Population Center collates the data and harmonized it across years.  Our methodology for determining who is covered as a 'worker' is covered in this year's income percentile calculator.

In short, anyone who reported working, worked on average one hour per week more, or wanted to work is included in the population. Beware very high or low percentiles for the ages below 18 years old and above 65 years old; there isn't as much data in the set.

Sarah Flood, Miriam King, Steven Ruggles, and J. Robert Warren. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 4.0. [dataset]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2015.

Presenting Data in Income Brackets By Age

Income percentile by age: a stack of coins

Income percentile by age: Why compare a 24 and 48 year old?

As we've done with reinvestment in our dividend reinvestment calculators, we've identified age or experience as an oft-ignored lurking variable. As experience is harder to measure, age is a decent proxy. It's a good bet that if you work a job and are older you have more experience in said job.

When you zoom out to 'all' workers, you're ignoring the very real effect of age on income. As income tends to increase with age and is 'sticky' (at least falling), this isn't right to do. Sure, we do present rolled up numbers in the income bracket post and income percentile calculator - but for comparisons sake, this is a superior slice.

So, if you're a 24 year old recent college grad... don't compare your fresh-out-of-college income with the investment supplemented income pulled in by a 50 year old. You should, instead, compare yourself with 23, 24, 25, and 26 year olds - that's a more reliable and accurate peer group.

Use Income Percentile by Age For Comparions!

So there you have it - the data and the reasoning behind producing this income percentile by age calculator. Age-based income is the measure you should use for comparison purposes. It'll avoid the weirdness you'll see in the aggregate stats, and properly accounts for at least some of the confounding variables.

See anything interesting in this year's data?



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.

Don't Quit Your Day Job...

DQYDJ may be compensated by our partners if you make purchases through links. See our disclosures page. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Sign Up For Emails
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram