Unexpectedly Intriguing!
01 December 2021

Political Calculations' initial estimate of median household income in October 2021 is $71,846, an increase of $1,022 (or 1.44%) from the initial estimate of $70,824 for September 2021.

The latest update to Political Calculations' chart tracking Median Household Income in the 21st Century shows the nominal (red) and inflation-adjusted (blue) trends for median household income in the United States from January 2000 through October 2021. The inflation-adjusted figures are presented in terms of constant October 2021 U.S. dollars.

Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Nominal and Real Modeled Estimates, January 2000 to October 2021

October 2021 saw a surge of inflation recorded in the United States. The typical income-earning American household lost a small amount of purchasing power during the month compared to the new inflation adjusted peak of $71,871 for September 2021.

Analyst's Notes

The BEA made significant, upward adjustments to its estimates of aggregate wage and salary income from April 2021 (+0.6%) through September 2021 (+1.5%) in its latest data release. In the case of the largest adjustment, for September 2021, the revisions boosted the month's estimated median household income by $455 from our initial estimate. That revision accounts for nearly 45% of the difference between our initial estimates of median household income for September and October 2021.

With the data revisions, and adjusted for inflation, median household income in the U.S. for October 2021 exceeds the previous peak in December 2020.

References

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. [Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 24 November 2021. Accessed: 14 November 2021.

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. [Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 24 November 2021. Accessed: 14 November 2021.

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: 11 November 2021. Accessed: 11 November 2021.

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