US Median Income by Age

Updated: March 22, 2024

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In 2023, the median income for all full-time wage and salary workers in the United States was $58,019, but this number varied significantly based on age. Median income more accurately measures the typical income level for an area than average income. Examining median income is a better way to discern the economic realities of earning, saving, investing and retirement for different age groups in the U.S.

To shed light on these differences, MoneyGeek analyzed data from the Census Bureau's One-Year American Community Survey and Labor Force Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, providing a detailed median income breakdown by age, state and gender.


The median annual income in the U.S. for full-time wage and salary workers was $58,019 in 2023.

  • Median earnings generally increase with age — starting from $31,928 with the 16 to 19 age group, peaking at $65,247 for the 45 to 54 age group — before declining to $56,238 for those 65 and older.

  • Median income grew by approximately 26% between 2018 and 2023. The 16 to 19 age group saw the most significant increase at 37%.

  • Alaska, Hawaii, Washington and Utah had the highest median salaries for those under 25. In the Northeast, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Hampshire had the highest median salaries for those aged 25 to 64.

  • The wage gap between men and women is widest for the 55 to 64 age group at $16,276 and is narrowest at $3,068 for the 20 to 24 age group.

Annual Median Income by Age

A closer look at median salary data reveals a general increase in earnings as individuals age, with the highest median salary of $65,247 observed in the 45 to 54 age group. The most substantial median salary growth takes place between the 20 to 24 ($38,194) and 25 to 34 ($54,340) age brackets. Earnings peak in the 55 to 64 age group ($63,310) and then decline for those aged 65 years and older ($56,238).

Five-Year Income Growth Trends

Incomes have risen for all age groups from 2018 to 2023, but the most substantial increase has been for those aged 16 to 19, with a 37% boost in annual earnings. The growth rates for ages 20 to 44 are within the same range, ranging from 27% to 30% over the same period. The growth rate begins to decline for older age groups, with a 25% increase for ages 45 to 54, 22% for ages 55 to 64, and the lowest at 16% for those aged 65 and over.

Five-Year Income Growth Trends

Annual Earnings (2023)
Annual Earnings (2018)
5-Yr change


16 to 19 years





20 to 24 years





25 to 34 years





35 to 44 years





45 to 54 years





55 to 64 years





65 years and over




Gender Wage Gap by Age Group

The median income wage gap between men and women varies across age groups, with 16- to 19-year-old men earning $3,302 more per year than women in the same age group. This gap narrows slightly for the 20 to 24 age group, with a difference of $3,068, but then dramatically increases to $6,422 for those aged 25 to 34. The wage gap is greatest at $16,276 for the 55 to 64 age group. The gap begins to decrease as individuals approach retirement, with a difference of $10,712 for those aged 65 and over.

Gender Wage Gap Across Different Age Groups

Annual Median Earnings for Men
Annual Median Earnings for Women
Wage Gap


16 to 19 years





20 to 24 years





25 to 34 years





35 to 44 years





45 to 54 years





55 to 64 years





65 years and over




Median Household Income by Age and State

The Western region of the U.S. has the highest median annual salaries for those under 25, with Alaska leading at $60,279, followed by Hawaii at $55,320, Washington at $54,660 and Utah at $54,506. In the Northeast, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Hampshire stand out for their high median salaries among those aged 25 to 64. Each of these Northeastern states has an annual median income of over $101,000 for those aged 25 to 44, while the 45 to 64 age group sees median incomes exceeding $114,000. Hawaii, Maryland and Alaska are the best states for earners 65 and over, with annual median incomes above $66,000.

FAQ About Median Income by Age

MoneyGeek addresses the most frequently asked questions about median income by age in the U.S., shedding light on income differences among age groups.

What are the median earnings in the U.S. by age group?
How much does the average 16- to 24-year-old make in the U.S.?
Which age group has the highest income?

Related Content

The resources listed below offer valuable information on income by state and region, along with tools for saving and preparing for retirement.

  • Median Income by State: Discover how median income varies by state and age. This resource offers a comprehensive analysis to help you understand the broader economic landscape.

  • Average American Savings Balance: Learn about the average savings balances of Americans. This insight can help you gauge where you stand and how you can plan your savings strategy.

  • Average Credit Score by Age: Understanding your credit score helps you evaluate your financial health. Explore how average credit scores change with age and what it means for your financial planning.

  • Average Retirement Savings by Age: Get a clear picture of how much people save for retirement at different ages. This can help you assess your own retirement planning and make necessary adjustments.

  • Saving for Retirement: Dive into strategies for saving for retirement. This guide provides valuable advice on how to effectively save for your future, regardless of your current age or income.

About Nathan Paulus

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Nathan Paulus is the Head of Content Marketing at MoneyGeek, with nearly 10 years of experience researching and creating content related to personal finance and financial literacy.

Paulus has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of St. Thomas, Houston. He enjoys helping people from all walks of life build stronger financial foundations.