How estimates of median income vary so much.


I’m trying to find the median income in the US. [The census says that it’s about 61k](, but [the Social Security Administration says that it’s about 29k.]( How is there such a huge difference in the two numbers?

In: Economics

The census is the median **household** income. Which means if multiple people in a household work, their wages add up. The SSA is the median wage per person.

Difference between per capita and household… 2 people making $29k isn’t all that far off from the $61k, whether roommates, a couple, etc.

Thank you, u/DeviaI, u/Target880, and u/blipsman ! That makes much more sense.

Another difference is that the census is measuring *income* while the SSA is measuring *wages*. There are many forms of non-wage income, the most common being dividends from investments.