Unexpectedly Intriguing!
August 31, 2018

Median household income in the United States rose to $62,450 in July 2018, with Sentier Research reporting a 0.4% increase over its June 2018 estimate of $62,175.

The following chart shows the nominal (red) and inflation-adjusted (blue) trends for median household income in the United States from January 2000 through July 2018, as given by Sentier Research's monthly estimates. The inflation-adjusted figures are presented in terms of constant July 2018 U.S. dollars.

Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Nominal and Real Estimates, January 2000 to July 2018

U.S. median household income is setting new monthly records in both nominal and real terms. In July 2018, it is also now seeing some of its fastest-on-record nominal year-over-year growth rates. Our second chart shows that data from January 2001 through July 2018.

Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Year Over Year Growth Rate, January 2001 to July 2018

The nominal rate of year over year growth for median household income has reached 5.6% in July 2018, which ranks fifth for the monthly data we have going back to January 2001. The inflation-adjusted year-over-year growth rate of median household income was also up for July 2018.

Analyst's Notes

Our alternative method for estimating median household income turned in a preliminary figure of $62,152 for July 2018, within 0.5% of Sentier Research's Current Population Survey-based estimate. This figure is up from the $61,891 preliminary figure that we had previously reported for June 2018, which we would revise upward this month to be $61,929. The BEA's monthly revision of its personal income data affected data from January 2018 through June 2018.

Looking forward, September 2018 will be another big month on the U.S. income data calendar, with the U.S. Census Bureau set to publish its annual income figures for the 2017 calendar year, following months of compiling and analyzing all the income data that it collected through the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of its Current Population Survey in March 2018.

Data Sources

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Table 2.6. Personal Income and Its Disposition, Monthly, Personal Income and Outlays, Not Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly, Middle of Month. Population. [PDF Document, Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 30 August 2018.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Table 2.6. Personal Income and Its Disposition, Monthly, Personal Income and Outlays, Not Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly, Middle of Month. Compensation of Employees, Received: Wage and Salary Disbursements. [PDF Document, Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 30 August 2018.

U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers - (CPI-U), U.S. City Average, All Items, 1982-84=100. [Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 10 August 2018.

References

Sentier Research. Household Income Trends: January 2000 through May 2017, March 2018 through July 2018. [Excel Spreadsheet with Nominal Median Household Incomes for January 2000 through January 2013 courtesy of Doug Short]. [PDF Document]. Accessed 24 August 2018. [Note: We've converted all data to be in terms of current (nominal) U.S. dollars to develop the analysis presented in this series.]

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