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17 September 2012

Where do you rank in the U.S. income spectrum?

Update 20 September 2013: Before going any further, please note that we've posted a newer version of this tool based on the most recently available data! Go here to find out more!

Now that the U.S. Census has released its total money income data it collected as part of its 2012 Annual Social and Economic Supplement survey, we can tell you almost exactly where you rank among American individuals, men (if you're a man), women (if you're a woman). Or, once you consider the combined income for your family or the members of your household, we can determine your percentile rank among each of those kinds of groupings!

It all starts below! Just enter your personal income, your family's income, which includes the incomes of your spouse and any dependents you might have, regardless of whether they live with you or not, and also the combined income of just the people who live within the same four walls of the household that you do and we'll tell you where you rank (if you're accessing this article through a site that republishes our RSS feed, click here to access the tool on our site.) And if you live outside the United States, be sure to convert your income into U.S. dollars first!

Income Data
Input Data Values
Your Personal Total Money Income
Your Family's Combined Total Money Income
Your Household's Combined Total Money Income

Cumulative Distribution of Total Money Income for U.S. Individuals, 2011Your Income Percentile
- Men
- Women

The default data we've presented in the tool above represents the average total money income of U.S. individuals, families and households in 2011.

In the tool above, your percentile ranking indicates the percentage of Americans who either share your income or earn less than you do. As such, it tells you what percentage of the population you're above in the income earning food chain.

For example, a percentile ranking of zero would indicate that you are at the very bottom end of the American income spectrum, while a percentile ranking of 100 indicates that you are effectively at the very top end. A percentile rank of 50.0 would indicate that you're within spitting range of being the middle of all Americans (our tool should be able to place most people within 0.2% of their actual percentile ranking.)

In considering your percentile ranking, here's how many income-earning people, families and households there were in 2011:

  • Individuals: 214,559,000
    • Men: 106,228,000
    • Women: 108,332,000
  • Families: 80,529,000
  • Households: 121,084,000

And here are our charts showing the cumulative distribution for U.S. families (left) and households (right). Click the images for larger versions:

Cumulative Distribution of Total Money Income for U.S. Families, 2011 Cumulative Distribution of Total Money Income for U.S. Households, 2011

The U.S. Census will report the data it collects for income earned in 2012 sometime in September 2013.

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About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations

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