ASSIGNMENT 3/ Social Problems

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018
Current Population Reports

Issued September 2019
P60-266

By Jessica Semega, Melissa Kollar, John Creamer, and Abinash Mohanty

Acknowledgments
Jessica Semega and Melissa Kollar prepared the income section of this report
under the direction of Jonathan L. Rothbaum, Chief of the Income Statistics
Branch. John Creamer and Abinash Mohanty prepared the poverty section under
the direction of Ashley N. Edwards, Chief of the Poverty Statistics Branch.
Trudi J. Renwick, Assistant Division Chief for Economic Characteristics in the
Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division, provided overall direction.

Vonda Ashton, David Watt, Susan S. Gajewski, Mallory Bane, and Nancy Hunter,
of the Demographic Surveys Division, and Lisa P. Cheok of the Associate
Directorate for Demographic Programs, processed the Current Population Survey
2019 Annual Social and Economic Supplement file.

Andy Chen, Kirk E. Davis, Raymond E. Dowdy, Lan N. Huynh, Chandararith R.
Phe, and Adam W. Reilly programmed and produced the historical, detailed, and
publication tables under the direction of Hung X. Pham, Chief of the Tabulation
and Applications Branch, Demographic Surveys Division.

Nghiep Huynh and Alfred G. Meier, under the supervision of KeTrena Phipps and
David V. Hornick, all of the Demographic Statistical Methods Division, conducted
statistical review.

Lisa P. Cheok of the Associate Directorate for Demographic Programs, provided
overall direction for the survey implementation. Roberto Cases and Aaron Cantu
of the Associate Directorate for Demographic Programs, and Charlie Carter
and Agatha Jung of the Information Technology Directorate prepared and pro-
grammed the computer-assisted interviewing instrument used to conduct the
Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

Additional people within the U.S. Census Bureau also made significant contribu-
tions to the preparation of this report. Gloria G. Guzmán, Bernadette D. Proctor,
Bruce H. Webster, Jr., Kurt Bauman, and Jason Fields reviewed the contents.

Census Bureau field representatives and telephone interviewers collected the data.
Without their dedication, the preparation of this report or any report from the
Current Population Survey would be impossible.

Corey T. Beasley, Amanda J. Perry, and Christine E. Geter provided publication
management, graphics design and composition, and editorial review for print
and electronic media under the direction of Janet Sweeney, Chief of the Graphic
and Editorial Services Branch, Public Information Office. William A. Burbano and
George E. Williams of the Census Bureau’s Administrative and Customer Services
Division provided printing management.

U.S. Department of Commerce
Wilbur Ross,

Secretary

Karen Dunn Kelley,
Deputy Secretary

U.S. CENSUS BUREAU
Steven Dillingham,

Director

P60-266

Income and Poverty in
the United States: 2018 Issued September 2019

Suggested Citation
Semega, Jessica, Melissa Kollar, John

Creamer, and Abinash Mohanty,
U.S. Census Bureau,

Current Population Reports,
P60-266,

Income and Poverty
in the United States: 2018,

U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC,

2019.

U.S. CENSUS BUREAU
Steven Dillingham,
Director

Ron Jarmin,
Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer

Victoria A. Velkoff,
Associate Director for Demographic Programs

David G. Waddington,
Chief, Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division

U.S. Census Bureau Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018 iii

Contents TEXT

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Summary of Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

INCOME IN THE UNITED STATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Highlights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Household Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Caution for Historical Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Type of Household . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Race and Hispanic Origin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Age of Householder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Nativity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Residence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Income Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Equivalence-Adjusted Income Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Earnings and Work Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

POVERTY IN THE UNITED STATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Highlights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Race and Hispanic Origin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Sex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Age . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Nativity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Residence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Work Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Disability Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Educational Attainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Shared Households . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Depth of Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Ratio of Income to Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Income Deficit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON INCOME AND POVERTY . . . . . . . . . 19
State and Local Estimates of Income and Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Longitudinal Estimates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
The Supplemental Poverty Measure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Interagency Technical Working Group on Evaluating Alternative
Measures of Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

SOURCE AND ACCURACY OF THE ESTIMATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

iv Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018 U.S. Census Bureau

FIGURES

Figure 1. Median Household Income and Percent Change by Selected Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Figure 2. Real Median Household Income by Race and Hispanic Origin: 1967 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Figure 3. Income Distribution Measures and Percent Change Using Money Income and
Equivalence-Adjusted Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Figure 4. Median Earnings and Percent Change by Selected Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Figure 5. Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio and Median Earnings of Full-Time, Year-Round Workers
15 Years and Older by Sex: 1960 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Figure 6. Total and Full-Time, Year-Round Workers With Earnings by Sex: 1967 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Figure 7. Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1959 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Figure 8. Poverty Rate and Percentage Point Change by Selected Characteristics: People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Figure 9. Poverty Rate and Percentage Point Change by Type of Family Families and People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Figure 10. Poverty Rates by Age and Sex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Figure 11. Poverty Rates by Age: 1959 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Figure 12. Demographic Makeup of the Population at Varying Degrees of Poverty: 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

APPENDIXES

Appendix A. Estimates of Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

How Income Is Measured . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Business Cycles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Annual Average Consumer Price Index Research Series (CPI-U-RS) Using Current Methods

All Items: 1947 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Cost-of-Living Adjustment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Poverty Threshold Adjustment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Appendix B. Estimates of Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

How Poverty Is Calculated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Poverty Thresholds for 2018 by Size of Family and Number of Related Children Under 18 Years . . . . . . . . . 49
Weighted Average Poverty Thresholds in 2018 by Size of Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Appendix C. Replicate Weights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Appendix D. Comparison of 2017 Income and Poverty Estimates using the Legacy and Updated

Processing Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Appendix E. Additional Data and Contacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Customized Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
New Data Platform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Public Use Microdata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
CPS ASEC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Taxes and Noncash Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Census Data API . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Topcoding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

U.S. Census Bureau Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018 v

APPENDIX TABLES

Table A-1. Income Summary Measures by Selected Characteristics: 2017 and 2018. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Table A-2. Households by Total Money Income, Race, and Hispanic Origin of Householder: 1967 to 2018 . . . . 26

Table A-3. Income Distribution Measures Using Money Income and Equivalence-Adjusted Income:
2017 and 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Table A-4. Selected Measures of Household Income Dispersion: 1967 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Table A-5. Selected Measures of Equivalence-Adjusted Income Dispersion: 1967 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Table A-6. Earnings Summary Measures by Selected Characteristics: 2017 and 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Table A-7. Number and Real Median Earnings of Total Workers and Full-Time, Year-Round Workers by
Sex and Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio: 1960 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Table B-1. People in Poverty by Selected Characteristics: 2017 and 2018. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Table B-2. Families and People in Poverty by Type of Family: 2017 and 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Table B-3. People With Income Below Specified Ratios of Their Poverty Thresholds by
Selected Characteristics: 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Table B-4. Income Deficit or Surplus of Families and Unrelated Individuals by Poverty Status: 2018 . . . . . . . . . 53

Table B-5. Poverty Status of People by Family Relationship, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1959 to 2018 . . . . . . . 54

Table B-6. Poverty Status of People by Age, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1959 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Table B-7. Poverty Status of Families by Type of Family: 1959 to 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Table D-1. Income Summary Measures by Selected Characteristics: 2017 Legacy and Updated
Processing Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Table D-2. Income Distribution Measures Using Money Income and Equivalence-Adjusted Income:
2017 Legacy and Updated Processing Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

Table D-3. Earnings Summary Measures by Selected Characteristics: 2017 Legacy and Updated
Processing Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Table D-4. People in Poverty by Selected Characteristics: 2017 Legacy and Updated Processing Systems . . . 76

U.S. Census Bureau Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018 1

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018

INTRODUCTION

The U.S. Census Bureau collects data
and publishes estimates on income
and poverty in order to evaluate
national economic trends as well as
to understand their impact on the
well-being of households, families,
and individuals. This report pres-
ents data on income and poverty in
the United States based on infor-
mation collected in the 2019 and
earlier Current Population Survey
(CPS) Annual Social and Economic
Supplements (ASEC) conducted by
the Census Bureau.1

The Census Bureau has been
engaged, for the past several years,
in implementing improvements to
the CPS ASEC. These changes have
been implemented in a two-step
process, beginning first with ques-
tionnaire design changes incor-
porated over the period of 2014
to 2016, followed by more recent
changes to the data processing
system. This report is the first time
income and poverty measures reflect
both data collection and process-
ing system changes. The 2017 and
2018 income and poverty estimates
presented in this report are based
on the updated processing system
and therefore the 2017 estimates
may differ from those released in

1 The Census Bureau reviewed this data
product for unauthorized disclosure of
confidential information and approved the
disclosure avoidance practices applied to this
release. CBDRB-FY19-POP001-0028.

September 2018. See Appendix D for
more information.2

This report contains two main sec-
tions, one focuses on income and
the other on poverty. Each section
presents estimates by characteristics
such as race, Hispanic origin, nativ-
ity, and region. Other topics, such as
earnings and family poverty rates,
are included only in the relevant
section.

Summary of Findings

• Median household income was
$63,179 in 2018, not statistically
different from the 2017 median,
following 3 consecutive years of
annual increases.

• Between 2017 and 2018, the real
median earnings of all workers
increased 3.4 percent to $40,247.

• The 2018 real median earnings of
men and women who worked full-
time, year-round increased by 3.4
percent and 3.3 percent, respec-
tively, between 2017 and 2018.3

• The number of full-time, year-
round workers increased by 2.3
million, between 2017 and 2018.

2 Given the impact of the new income ques-
tions introduced in 2014, the new relationship
categories introduced in 2015–2016, and the
2019 implementation of an updated processing
system, comparisons of 2018 estimates to pre-
2017 estimates should be made with caution.
In this report, comparisons to earlier years
are made when questionnaire and processing
system changes did not result in statistically
significant differences in the estimates. See
Appendix D and for
more details.

3 The difference between the 2017–2018
percent changes in median earnings for men
and women working full-time, year-round was
not statistically significant.

The number of men and women
full-time, year-round workers
increased by about 700,000 and
1.6 million, respectively.

• The official poverty rate in 2018
was 11.8 percent, a decrease of 0.5
percentage points from 2017. This
is the fourth consecutive annual
decline in the national poverty
rate. In 2018, for the first time in
11 years, the official poverty rate
was significantly lower than 2007,
the year before the most recent
recession.

• The number of people in poverty
in 2018 was 38.1 million, 1.4 million
fewer people than 2017.

For all demographic groups shown
in Figure 1 (see page 2), the 2018
median household income estimates
were higher or were not statistically
different from the 2017 estimates.
For most demographic groups
shown in Figure 8 (see page 13), pov-
erty rates in 2018 were either lower
than in 2017 or not statistically differ-
ent. The only group to experience
a statistically significant increase in
poverty rates from 2017 to 2018 was
people aged 25 or older with no high
school diploma.

INCOME IN THE UNITED STATES

Highlights

• Median household income was
$63,179 in 2018, not statistically
different from the 2017 median
(Figure 1 and Table A-1).

• The 2018 real median income of
family households and nonfamily
households increased 1.2 percent
and 2.4 percent, respectively,

2 Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018 U.S. Census Bureau

Change: 20171 to 20182018 median income

Figure 1.
Median Household Income and Percent Change by Selected Characteristics

1 The 2017 data reflect the implementation of an updated processing system. See Appendix D for more information.
Notes: Households as of March of the following year. Inflation-adjusted estimates may differ slightly from other published data due to
rounding. Statistically significant indicates the change is statistically different from zero at the 90 percent confidence level. For more
details, see Table A-1. For information on confidentiality protection, sampling error, and definitions, see
.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2018 and 2019 Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

0.9

1.2

2.4

0.8

1.1

2.6

4.6

0.1

1.0

3.3

1.4

1.7

4.3

2.3

0.3

1.4

1.6

$63,179

$80,663

$38,122

$66,943

$70,642

$41,361

$87,194

$71,659

$43,696

$64,243

$70,113

$64,069

$57,299

$69,520

$66,164

$51,450

$58,776

$49,867

$70,928

$59,358

Denotes a statistically
significant change

5.4

-1.0

1.5

HOUSEHOLDS

All households

Type of Household
Family households

Nonfamily households

Race and Hispanic Origin of
Householder
White

White, not Hispanic

Black

Asian

Hispanic (any race)

Age of Householder
Under 65 years

65 years and older

Nativity of Householder
Native-born

Foreign-born

Region
Northeast

Midwest

South

West

Metropolitan Statistical Area
(MSA) Status
Inside MSA

Inside principal cities

Outside principal cities

Outside MSA

U.S. Census Bureau Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018 3

between 2017 and 2018 (Figure 1
and Table A-1).4 This is the fourth
consecutive annual increase in
median household income for
family households.

• The 2018 real median income of
Asian households increased 4.6
percent from 2017 to $87,194,
while the real median incomes of
non-Hispanic White ($70,642),
Black ($41,361), and Hispanic
($51,450) households were not
statistically different from their
2017 medians (Figure 1 and Table
A-1).5

• For householders under the age
of 65, real median household
income was not statistically differ-
ent between 2017 and 2018, while
real median household income for
householders aged 65 and over
increased 3.3 percent from 2017
(Figure 1 and Table A-1).6

• The real median income of house-
holds maintained by a native-born
person increased 1.4 percent
between 2017 and 2018, while
the 2018 real median income
of households maintained by
a foreign-born person was not
statistically different from 2017
(Figure 1 and Table A-1).7

4 The difference between the 2017–2018
percent changes in median income for fam-
ily (1.2 percent) and nonfamily (2.4 percent)
households was not statistically significant.

5 The only significant difference between
the 2017–2018 percent changes in median
income for each race group was Asian (4.6
percent) and Hispanic (0.1 percent).

6 The difference between the 2017–2018
percent changes in median income for house-
holders under the age of 65 (1.0 percent) and
by householders aged 65 and over (3.3 per-
cent) was not statistically significant.

7 The difference between the 2017–2018
percent changes in median income for house-
holds maintained by a native-born person (1.4
percent) and those maintained by a foreign-
born person (1.7 percent) was not statistically
significant.

• Between 2017 and 2018, the real
median earnings of all workers
increased 3.4 percent to $40,247
(Figure 4 and Table A-6).

• The 2018 real median earnings
of men ($55,291) and women
($45,097) who worked full-time,
year-round increased by 3.4 per-
cent and 3.3 percent, respectively,
(Figure 4 and Table A-6) between
2017 and 2018.8 The 2018 female-
to-male earnings ratio was 0.816,
not statistically different from the
2017 ratio (Figure 5).

• The number of full-time, year-
round workers increased by 2.3
million, between 2017 and 2018.
The number of men and women
full-time, year-round workers

8 The difference between the 2017–2018
percent changes in median earnings for men
(3.4 percent) and women (3.3 percent) work-
ing full-time, year-round was not statistically
significant.

increased by about 700,000 and
1.6 million, respectively.

Household Income9

Following 3 consecutive years of
annual increases in the real median
income of all households in the
United States, the 2018 median
income ($63,179) was not statisti-
cally different in real terms from the
2017 median of $62,626 (Figure 1
and Table A-1).

9 The householder is the person (or one
of the people) in whose name the home is
owned or rented and the person to whom the
relationship of other household members is
recorded. If a married couple owns the home
jointly, either spouse may be listed as the
householder. Since only one person in each
household is designated as the householder,
the number of householders is equal to the
number of households. This report uses the
characteristics of the householder to describe
the household.

Caution for Historical Comparisons

Although 2018 median household income appears to be the highest
median household income ever reported from the CPS ASEC, compari-
sons to income and poverty estimates prior to 2017 must be made with
caution as the income questions were redesigned in 2014 and estimates
for 2018 are only available using a new processing system.

To better understand how these survey changes would affect income
and poverty estimates, the 2014 CPS ASEC used a split-panel design.
In the split-panel design, about 70 percent of the sample was randomly
selected to receive the traditional income questions, which matched
those administered prior to 2014. The other 30 percent of the sample
received the redesigned questions. Likewise, two sets of estimates
are available from the 2018 CPS ASEC, providing estimates of income
and poverty for 2017 under the legacy and updated data processing
systems. In each case, dual estimates are available for a single year.
Comparisons across these estimates help to account for the changes
in the questionnaire and processing system when making comparisons
over time. For more details, see Appendix D and .

4 Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018 U.S. Census Bureau

Type of Household10

The 2018 real median income of fam-
ily households and nonfamily house-
holds increased 1.2 percent and
2.4 percent, respectively, between
2017 and 2018 (Figure 1 and Table
A-1).11 This is the fourth consecutive
annual increase in median house-
hold income for family households.
Real median income among family
households maintained by women
with no spouse present increased
5.8 percent between 2017 and 2018,
while median income of married-
couple households and family
households maintained by men with
no spouse present were not statisti-
cally different from 2017 medians in
real terms.12 For family households,
married-couple households had
the highest median income in 2018
($93,654), followed by households
maintained by men with no spouse
present ($61,518). Family house-
holds maintained by women with
no spouse present had the lowest
median income ($45,128).

Looking at nonfamily households,
real median income for male house-
holders ($45,754) increased 4.4 per-
cent between 2017 and 2018, while
the change in real median income

10 A family household is a household
maintained by a householder who is related
to at least one other person in the household
by birth, marriage, or adoption and includes
any unrelated individuals who may be residing
there. A nonfamily household is a householder
living alone (a one-person household) or shar-
ing the home exclusively with nonrelatives.

11 The difference between the 2017–2018
percent changes in median income for fam-
ily (1.2 percent) and nonfamily (2.4 percent)
households was not statistically significant.

12 The following differences between
the 2017–2018 percent changes in median …

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