Unexpectedly Intriguing!
May 1, 2007

We're always experimenting with different ways of presenting data here at Political Calculations. Today, we're going to continue that experimentation by showing the distribution of income earning individuals in the U.S by their age and their annual income for 2005.

The data behind the chart below was taken from the U.S. Census Current Population Survey for 2005:

2005 U.S. Individual Income Earner Distribution by Income Level and Age Groups

In the chart above, the number of individuals earning income is displayed on the left (in thousands), while age groupings are provided on the horizontal axis. Annual income is presented as strata on the chart, with each band proportionate to the number of individuals earning the indicated income (in the legend on the right), within the given age grouping - the wider the band, the greater the number of people within the indicated income range.

General Trends in the Chart

As you might expect, the young (Age 15-24) make up the greatest numbers of low income earners, as this group dominates the lowest end of the income strata. Much of this discrepancy disappears for the Age 25-34 grouping, who are largely finished with their schooling and are now able to work full time.

The greatest number of workers is found in the Age 35-44 grouping, with the Age 45-54 close behind. As retirement and mortality take their tolls on the U.S. workforce, the number of income earners in the Age 55-64 grouping, and even more so in the Age 65-74 grouping, sees the largest declines in the number of income earners.

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