What "Percent" Is Your Household?

By Bridget Quigg, PayScale.com

In the worldwide effort to call forth the one percent of Americans who hold a disproportionate amount of our country’s wealth, the 99 percent stay united in a single group. But, if you are hard working college grad with a steady gig, especially if you’re in a dual-income household, you might be in the top 10 percent, at least, according the 2010 U.S. census data.

Percent by Household

The U.S. Census Bureau’s page on annual U.S. household incomes breaks down annual household earnings into $4,999 increments, from “Under $5,000” to “$250,000 and over.” While the data does not highlight the infamous one percent, who may be making $250,000 or more a week, it does shine some light on bottom 98 percent and where people stand in it.

To create percentages using U.S. census data, we took the number of households earning a certain amount, such as $70,000 to $74,999, divided that number by the entire group of households, multiplied that number by 100 to get a percentage and then subtracted that percentage from 100. This gave us the percentage of people earning more than each group of earners.

For example, those households with $5,000 or less in income per year earn less than approximately 96.5 percent of people in the country. They are the 96.5 percent. Meanwhile, households bringing in $185,000 to $189,999 have only about 4.4 percent of other households earning more than them. They are sitting, according to our calculations, in the top 5 percent. See our table below.

 

Annual Household Income

% of Americans Earning More

 Under $5,000

96.48%

 $5,000 to $9,999

92.22%

 $10,000 to $14,999

86.27%

 $15,000 to $19,999

80.16%

 $20,000 to $24,999

74.31%

 $25,000 to $29,999

68.64%

 $30,000 to $34,999

63.46%

 $35,000 to $39,999

58.48%

 $40,000 to $44,999

53.74%

 $45,000 to $49,999

49.59%

 $50,000 to $54,999

45.30%

 $55,000 to $59,999

41.76%

 $60,000 to $64,999

38.04%

 $65,000 to $69,999

35.03%

 $70,000 to $74,999

31.85%

 $75,000 to $79,999

29.22%

 $80,000 to $84,999

26.57%

 $85,000 to $89,999

24.32%

 $90,000 to $94,999

22.20%

 $95,000 to $99,999

20.42%

 $100,000 to $104,999

18.31%

 $105,000 to $109,999

16.82%

 $110,000 to $114,999

15.31%

 $115,000 to $119,999

14.07%

 $120,000 to $124,999

12.83%

 $125,000 to $129,999

11.78%

 $130,000 to $134,999

10.74%

 $135,000 to $139,999

9.85%

 $140,000 to $144,999

9.03%

 $145,000 to $149,999

8.37%

 $150,000 to $154,999

7.54%

 $155,000 to $159,999

6.97%

 $160,000 to $164,999

6.44%

 $165,000 to $169,999

5.98%

 $170,000 to $174,999

5.51%

 $175,000 to $179,999

5.12%

 $180,000 to $184,999

4.73%

 $185,000 to $189,999

4.44%

 $190,000 to $194,999

4.14%

 $195,000 to $199,999

3.90%

 $200,000 to $249,999

2.09%

 $250,000 and over

0.00%

 

* The 0.00% for those over $250,000 may seem confusing but it just means that, since this chart stops at $250,000 per year, there is no one listed above that number to compare to.

Where Does Your Household Rank?

Are you curious where you land in the rankings? According to our calculations, nearly half of U.S. households, 49.6 percent, bring in a total of $45,000 to $49,499 per year or less. This correlates with a recent Atlantic story that reported that 50 percent of all Americans earned less than $26,000 in 2010. If the typical dual-income household includes two people making between $20,000 and $25,000 per year, their combined income would add up to about $45,000 to $49,499 for their household. Sounds right.

The following is a list of earnings brackets, common jobs for each of them and the median annual incomes for those jobs, according to PayScale.com. There are examples of jobs for single-income or dual-income households.

80.16% - $15,000 to $19,999

Retail Sales Associate - $8.25 per hour plus bonus, approx. $17,160 per year

63.46% - $30,000 to $34,999

Administrative Assistant – $33,936

41.76% - $55,000 to $59,999

Tow Truck Driver - $20,486 and

Elementary School Teacher - $39,050

29.22% - $75,000 to $79,999

Lawyer - $75,722

4.14% - $190,000 to $194,999

Operations Manager - $61,884 and

Senior Tax Manager - $133,553

Will The Wealth Distribution Change Soon?

Nearly every politician, finance guru and person on the street has an opinion about what do to get wealth more “evenly distributed.” Tax the rich higher, regulate executive corporate pay, create better social programs – the list goes on and on. The upcoming presidential elections should keep the topic hot.

As always, we here at PayScale recommend that you take our survey and find out exactly what you should be paid for the work you do. We even have tips on how to approach your boss for your much-deserved raise. We wish you the best.

Source: All salary data provided by PayScale.com. Hourly rates are multiplied by 2080 hours per year to get approximate annual salaries. Median hourly rates and median annual salaries are for full-time workers with 3-5 years of experience, or 13-20 for the senior tax manager, and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.

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