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Average salaries and wages in the United States have been increasing year after year, but the landscape looks different depending on a range of factors, from where you live to how old you are. For example, on average, Mississippi is the lowest-earning state with an average income of around $48,000, according to the 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you’re wondering how your earnings compare to the rest of the 91Ӱ, as well as others in your state, we’ve compiled the official numbers to produce a comprehensive breakdown of average salaries in the country. We’ve split salary data by age, race, gender, occupation, state and educational background then analyzed the results to see who earns what in the 91Ӱ

Average salary statistics: Key findings

  • National average income: The national average salary in the 91Ӱ in Q4 of 2023 was $59,384, according to the 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics.1
  • Average salary by age: The highest average earners are aged between 35 and 44, earning 13.8% more than the national average salary.2
  • Average income by state: On average, Mississippi is the lowest-earning state with an average income of $48,048, and Massachusetts is the highest-earning state with an average income of $86,840.1
  • Average salary by occupation: The highest earners in the 91Ӱ in 2022 were cardiologists ($421,330), and the lowest earners were shampooers ($27,870).3 
  • Average income by race and ethnicity: The lowest earners in the 91Ӱ were Hispanics and Latinos, with an average of $45,968, and the highest earners were Asians, with an average of $79,456.4
  • Average household income: The average family household income was $74,755 in 2022.5
  • Average income by gender: The gender pay gap decreased by 0.7% in the last year, but it grew by 1.3% between 2021 and 2022.6
  • Average salary by education: Full-time workers over 25 years old without a high school diploma earned an average of $47,580 per year.4
  • Wage growth vs. inflation: The average salary grew by 4.4% in 2023, according to WTW,7 while there was a gain of 3.4% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.8

How much does the average American make a year?

According to the 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor, the average 91Ӱ annual salary in Q4 of 2023 was $59,384.2 This is up 5.4% from the same time period in 2022 when the average American was making $56,316 per year.9 Average weekly earnings reached $1,142, while the average American made $4,949 per month in Q4 of 2023.9 While salaries are up, salary growth is down — the increase in average earnings is lower compared to the 7.3% rise between 2021 and 2022.

When taking these numbers and splitting them by demographic, the numbers are quite different. The gender pay gap, while shrinking by 1% over the last 10 years, was only cut by 0.7% between 2022 and 2023. This means the average male makes $63,960, while their female counterparts make an average of $53,404.6, 9

Race and ethnicity are also factors. The average white male earns $64,636, while the average Hispanic or Latino male makes $47,996 annually.4 With the annual inflation rate for 2023 at 3.4% for the year — up from 3.1% previously — salaries aren’t keeping up. A Smart Asset report based on MIT’s Living Wage data found that the average salary required to live comfortably in the 91Ӱ is $68,499 after taxes.10 This is nearly $10,000 higher than what the average salary currently is.

91Ӱ average salary by age

  • The age group with the lowest average earnings is 16- to 24-year-olds.2
  • The highest average earners are aged between 35 and 44, earning 13.8% more than the national average.2 
  • Average earnings start to fall at age 45, and those aged 65 and over earn almost 8% less than the national average.2

Looking at the 91Ӱ average salary by age shows earnings peak in the 35 to 44 age group. People aged 35 to 44 earn, on average, $1,303 per week or $67,756 per year — over $8,000 more than the national average.2 While salaries rise continuously up to this point, they start to fall after this. On average, those aged 45 to 54 earn $66,300, and those aged 55 to 64 earn $64,688.

16- to 24-year-olds are the lowest earners at $734 per week or $38,168 per year — this means they earn 35.9% less than the 91Ӱ national average.2 However, the next lowest earners are those aged 65 and older at $1,055 per week or $54,860 per year.

91Ӱ average income by state

  • Mississippi is the lowest-earning state with an average annual income of $48,048, over $11,000 below the 91Ӱ average.1
  • The highest-earning state is Massachusetts, with an average annual income of $86,840 in 2023 — more than $27,000 above the national average.1
  • Missouri earns the closest to the 91Ӱ average, with an annual income of $59,800, just $416 above the national average.1 

Mississippi’s annual average income is the lowest in the 91Ӱ at $48,048, followed by: 

  • Arkansas ($53,716).
  • South Dakota ($53,820).
  • Idaho ($53,976). 

However, Arkansas and Mississippi are in the top 10 for the lowest cost of living in the United States, so the lower salary might not be felt as much in Arkansas as it is in Idaho or South Dakota. Idaho places 28th on the same list, while South Dakota ranks 16th.11 

The highest-earning state in the 91Ӱ on average was Massachusetts, with its annual average income at $86,840.1 This was followed by: 

  • Washington ($85,748).
  • California ($84,448).
  • New York ($84,292).
  • Connecticut ($78,572).

Massachusetts is also one of the most expensive places to live, coming second to last in the cost of living index, with California, New York and Washington all in the bottom 10.11 It’s interesting to note that despite Hawaii having the highest cost of living in the country,11 the average annual salary in the state is only $62,296.1 

New Mexico saw the biggest increase in earnings compared to the previous year, with average salaries rising by 6.5%.1 The state is followed by: 

  • West Virginia (6.1%).
  • Washington (4.9%). 

New Jersey saw the lowest increase at 1.6%, followed by Massachusetts at 2.0%. Rhode Island was the only state to see a decrease, with wages falling by 0.3% compared to 2022.1

91Ӱ average salary by occupation 

  • Cardiologists were the highest earners in the 91Ӱ in 2022, with average wages of $421,330 based on over 16,000 cardiologists in employment.3
  • Shampooers earned the least, with an average annual wage of $27,870 based on over 7,000 employees.3

The highest-earning professions in the 91Ӱ, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2022, are almost all in the medical industry.3 Cardiologists are, by some distance, the highest earners with average annual wages of $421,330, followed by:

  • Orthopedic surgeons, excluding pediatric ($371,400).
  • Pediatric surgeons ($362,970).
  • All other surgeons ($347,870). 

Athletes and sports competitors were the only non-medical professionals in the top five, coming in fourth with average annual earnings of $358,080.3 Aside from athletes, all occupations in the top five require advanced degrees and years of training in order to reach qualified status, explaining their positions on the leaderboard.

The highest-paid non-medical professionals, after athletes and sports professionals, were chief executives, irrespective of industry, with average annual earnings of $246,440. This was followed by airline pilots, copilots and flight engineers ($225,740), computer and information systems managers ($173,670) and financial managers ($166,050).3 

While not all occupations have both annual and hourly wages given — due to some occupations not working year-round — the lowest-paid occupation was shampooers, earning an average of $27,870.3 They were closely followed by:

  • Fast food cooks ($27,920).
  • Fast food and counter workers ($28,130).
  • Amusement and recreation park attendants ($28,350).
  • Lifeguards, ski patrol and other recreational protective service workers ($28,370). 

These occupations will usually require at least industry-specific training. Some may require a high school diploma.

91Ӱ average salary by race and ethnicity

  • When looking at average income by race and ethnicity in the 91Ӱ, figures from the 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics show significant racial inequality.4 
  • Hispanics and Latinos have the lowest wages in the 91Ӱ, earning, on average, $45,968 per year.4
  • The highest earners were Asians, with average annual wages of $79,456. Asian men earned an average of $90,012.4

91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics data on average income by race highlights wage disparity across the country. Research compiled by Statista shows that in 2022, there were fewer Black and Hispanic people holding bachelor’s degrees than any other racial or ethnic group.12 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show the lowest earnings in the country are Hispanics and Latinos, earning on average $45,968 annually, followed by Black and African American people, earning $50,284.4

Asians earned the most by a distance, with their average annual income at $79,456, followed by white Americans earning $60,164 yearly.4 White Americans were closest to the 91Ӱ average — only $624 over — while Asians were just under $20,000 over the national average. Black and African Americans were over $9,000 below, and Hispanics and Latinos were over $13,000 below the national average.

When looking at gender, race and ethnicity, overall, women earned 16.2% less than their male counterparts. This number was higher for Asians, where women earned 21.7% less. In all other racial and ethnic groups, the difference was lower than the national average.4

White women were closest to the overall gender gap average at 15.9%, followed by Hispanics and Latinos at 12.2%. Gender disparity was the lowest for Black and African American people, with women only earning 6.1% less than their male counterparts.4

91Ӱ average household income

  • The average 91Ӱ household earned $74,755 in 2022.5
  • Racial disparity is prevalent, with Black or African American households earning the least of all race groups.5
  • Four-person families earned the most combined family income at an average of $113,919, over $30,000 more than two-person families, who bring in the least.5

United States Census Bureau data shows the average 91Ӱ household income was $74,755 in 2022. However, this fluctuates depending on the racial makeup of the family. Black and African American households earned an average of $51,374, the lowest of all racial groups. This was less than half the average of Asian households ($106,954), the highest paid of all racial groups.5 

Household income also varied depending on the age of the household’s main earner. As you might imagine, average income increased as age did — up to the 45- to 64-year-old age group — with their earnings the highest at $90,748. Those aged 65 and over earned considerably less on average at $53,963 per year.5

Single males and females with children under the age of 18 generally earn less, on average, than those without children. Married couples with children under the age of 18 generally earn more — $120,704, on average — than their childless counterparts who bring home $109,250. They also earn over triple what single women with children ($36,393) earn.5

91Ӱ income by gender

  • The gender pay gap has gone down by only 1% since 2013.6
  • In 2023, the average salary for women in the 91Ӱ was more than $10,000 less than the average salary for men in the country.6
  • The difference between average salaries for men and women is down from 2022 but higher than in 2021.6

In the last 10 years, the gender pay gap has only been reduced by 1% overall. The average salary for males in the 91Ӱ in Q4 of 2023 was $63,960, over $10,000 or 16.5% more per year than women ($53,404). While the gender pay gap decreased by 0.7% in the last year, between 2021 and 2022, it grew by 1.3%.6

The difference between men’s and women’s earnings was significantly less pronounced in younger workers. Among people aged 16 to 24, women earned 5.2% less than men. Conversely, the difference was greater for people aged 55 to 64, where women earn 22.8% less than their male counterparts.6

The gap is even more prevalent on certain industry levels, with women earning 23% less than men in professional and related occupations — the highest of all industries. This was closely followed by management, professional and related occupations, and management, business, and financial operations occupations where the gap in earnings in both is 22%.6

The difference is lowest in service occupations, where the overall earnings are also the lowest — women earn 17% less than men.6

91Ӱ average salary by education level

  • Full-time workers aged 25 years old and over earn an average of $47,580 per year without a high school diploma.5 
  • Those with advanced degrees, like master’s degrees, earn an average of $144,300.5 

A person’s education level has a huge impact on their overall earnings. According to the 91Ӱ Census Bureau, full-time workers aged 25 and over without a high school diploma earn an average of $47,580 per year. Data also shows that:

  • High school graduates have an average income of $66,768. 
  • Bachelor’s degree holders brought in an average of $125,320. 
  • Those with advanced degrees earn an average of $144,300.

Breaking it down by gender, the gender pay gap was most pronounced for high school graduates without a college diploma. In this group, women earned almost 28% less than men. By contrast, the gap was 24% for those holding a bachelor’s degree.5 

91Ӱ wage growth vs inflation 

  • The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers shows a gain of 3.4%,8 while the average salary in the country shows a gain of 4.4%7 in 2023.
  • Wages grew by 6.5% in New Mexico, while inflation grew by 3.8%. 

While the average salary in the 91Ӱ has grown by 4.4%,7 there was a gain of 3.4%8 in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. The Consumer Price Index measures the average price of consumer goods and services and works as an indicator of inflation. When looking at the last quarter of 2023, the 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that median weekly earnings were up 5.5% compared to one year earlier.9

The most significant positive change was in New Mexico, where wages grew by 6.5% and inflation grew by 3.8%. Maine and Vermont have also seen positive results, the only two states to see higher percentage wage increases compared to inflation two years in a row.1

However, some states saw wages grow at a slower rate than inflation, such as New Jersey (wages grew by 1.6%, but inflation grew by 3.2%) and Indiana (2.0% vs 2.9%). Rhode Island was the only state that saw a decrease in wages in 2023 at 0.3%, compared to a rate of inflation of 2.5%.1 

Sources

  1. 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics - .
  2. 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics - .
  3. 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics - .
  4. 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics - .
  5. United States Census Bureau - .
  6. 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics - .
  7. WTW - .
  8. The White House - .
  9. 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics - .
  10. SmartAsset - .
  11. Missouri Economic Research and Information Center - .
  12. Statista - .
  13. 91Ӱ Bureau of Labor Statistics - .

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Mehdi is a writer and editor with many years of personal finance expertise under his belt. He's a spirited money-saver, with a passion for making personal finance accessible and manageable. When he isn't writing, Mehdi likes to read about history and travel, hike along coastlines and in forests, and watch his beloved team Manchester United underperform.

Bryce Colburn

BLUEPRINT

Bryce Colburn is a 91Ӱ Blueprint small business editor with a history of helping startups and small firms nationwide grow their business. He has worked as a freelance writer, digital marketing professional and business-to-business (B2B) editor at 91Ӱ News and World Report, gaining a strong understanding of the challenges businesses face. Bryce is enthusiastic about helping businesses make the best decisions for their company and specializes in reviewing business software and services. His expertise includes topics such as credit card processing companies, payroll software, company formation services and virtual private networks (VPNs).

Sierra Campbell is a small business editor for USA Today Blueprint. She specializes in writing, editing and fact-checking content centered around helping businesses. She has worked as a digital content and show producer for several local TV stations, an editor for 91Ӱ News & World Report and a freelance writer and editor for many companies. Sierra prides herself in delivering accurate and up-to-date information to readers. Her expertise includes credit card processing companies, e-commerce platforms, payroll software, accounting software and virtual private networks (VPNs). She also owns Editing by Sierra, where she offers editing services to writers of all backgrounds, including self-published and traditionally published authors.