Median household income falls 2.9% in 2020

Median household income falls 2.9% in 2020

U.S. sees first significant decrease since 2011.

January 11, 2022

The median household income in the U.S. decreased 2.9% from 2019 to 2020, from $69,560 to $67,521, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This is the first “statistically significant decline” in median household income since 2011.

The real median incomes of family households and nonfamily households decreased 3.2% and 3.1%, respectively. While there wasn’t a statistically significant change in the real median household income for Black households, median income declined for non-Hispanic Whites, Asians, and Hispanics.

The largest geographic decrease came in the Midwest, where real median household incomes fell 3.2% from 2019 to 2020. The median fell 2.3% in the South and the West, while the change in the Northeast was not statistically significant.

Earnings fell at a similar rate for all workers at least 15 years old between 2019 and 2020, with real median earnings falling 1.2% from $42,065 to $41,535. 

However, real median earnings rose 6.9% for those who worked full-time year-round, increasing 5.6% for men ($61,417) and 6.5% for women ($50,982). The total number of workers who worked full-time year-round fell by 13.7 million between 2019 and 2020.

The official poverty rate, which declined each year from 2015 through 2019, rose from 10.5% in 2019 to 11.4% in 2020. There were 37.2 million people in poverty in 2020.

Black individuals had the highest poverty rate at 19.5%, compared to 17.0% for Hispanics, 8.2% for non-Hispanic Whites, and 8.1% for Asians. 

The poverty rates for people under the age of 18 increased from 14.4% in 2019 to 16.1% in 2020. For individuals between 18 and 64 years old, poverty rates increased from 9.4% to 10.4%. The poverty rate for people aged 65 and older (9.0%) was not statistically different from 2019.

The U.S. population rose by 22,703,743 between the 2010 and 2020 censuses, increasing to 331,449,281.

Forging a Path
This article is part of Forging a Path, CUNA News’ special focus on what 2022 holds for the credit union movement, financial services industry, and the economy. Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ForgingAPath.