For planning your financial life journey, understanding your financial standing is more important than ever. This post features a handy income percentile calculator for the US. Please note this calculator is specifically to measure individual income/salary percentiles.
We’ve also got a household income percentile calculator if you are interested in benchmarking your household income.
Please note that only the Annual Salary field is used to calculate your percentile. The other fields are used to generate relevant comparison points for the Median table shown below the chart.
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The earnings percentile calculator for the US is very simple to use. Simply enter your annual salary in the box above and hit Calculate. The Annual Salary field is the only mandatory field. The rest are all optional.
The calculator also lets you compare your income against the median income for various categories. This helps you dive down further in to each category to get better insight.
If you leave the field to “All”, the broadest dataset is used. These inputs are optional. Here are some helpful commentary about the various inputs:
- Education: Select your level through the drop-down list. Please note the data-set here is limited to those aged 25 and over.
- Industry: Select your industry
- Gender: Where available, you can get data for each gender specifically. By default, data for both genders are displayed.
- Race: Select the desired race from the box.
- Hours: By default the table shows the data for both all (part-time and full-time workers) and full-time only. If you’d like to simplify the output and just see the FT-only workers, then please select this option. But please note that data limits mean this is available only for certain combinations of inputs.
If you’re more comfortable thinking in terms of hourly wages, please use the Yearly Salary to Hourly Wage calculator to convert these annual figures in to an hourly wage.
The calculator compares your information against two large datasets:
- Reported Wages: The US Social Security Administration compiles and reports this data. This dataset helps you understand what percentile your income is when compared with the entire US working population, or about 168 million people.
- Census Data: The US Census Bureau compiles data through their periodic surveys and reports huge volumes of data. The census data has information on 173 million workers.
The calculator presents the results in several different formats. First, the calculator shows how your income compares against the income ranges for rest of the employed people in the US. The result is shown in percentile format.
A chart is also helpfully shown. You can select to see the chart between the data generated from the two different sources of the SSA and Census Bureau.
Note that the wage data includes both part-time and full-time earners, so your information is being compared against the entire database of legally employed workers in the US.
Then a table with the median income data is shown. This information is pulled from the census data. The median for the various combinations of education, race, industry, and occupation are shown against the entire population and male or female-only data.
Please note that certain combinations may have data available as we are limited by the data that is compiled by the Census Bureau.
What is Income Percentile?
Income percentile is a statistical metric used to compare a specific income level against the entire distribution of incomes. When we say an income is in a certain percentile, we mean that it surpasses that percentage of the entire set of incomes. For example, if you’re in the 70th income percentile, it implies that your income is higher than 70% of individuals.
In this case, since we’re using data from the Social Security Administration, they compile the information from the W-2 form data that is submitted by each employer to the IRS. In other words, every legal employee’s data is reported and is used in this data set.
So when you get the percentile data here, you should know that it’s probably as accurate as it can be!
Why It’s Important to Understand Your Income Percentile
Understanding your income percentile is not about keeping up with the Joneses, nor is it about fostering a sense of competition or comparison. Instead, it provides valuable insight into your economic standing within the wider context of the national income distribution. Here are several reasons why comprehending your income percentile is significant:
- Financial Planning: Knowledge of your income percentile can greatly assist in personal financial planning. It helps you gauge if your income is sufficient to sustain the lifestyle you want, if you’re on track for retirement, or if there’s room for more savings or investments.
- Contextual Understanding: Your income percentile provides a benchmark for where you stand economically in comparison to your peers nationally. It helps you understand the degree of income inequality and provides a realistic picture of your economic status.
- Career Decisions: Knowing your income percentile in your profession or region can inform career decisions such as negotiating a raise, changing jobs, or even switching careers. It provides a solid base from which to advocate for a wage that aligns with your experience and skills.
- Policy Understanding: On a broader scale, awareness of income percentiles can aid in understanding the impacts of tax policies, social programs, and economic disparities among different demographics.
- Homeownership and Lifestyle Choices: Understanding your income percentile can help in making significant financial decisions like purchasing a home or deciding where to live, as it provides an insight into what you can realistically afford.
Recognizing your income percentile isn’t about ranking or rating oneself, but about understanding the larger economic environment. This awareness is a critical tool in making informed decisions, advocating for fair compensation, and planning a secure financial future.
Before You Go…
I hope you enjoyed using this US income percentile calculator. If you do spot any errors, please feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email.
If you like this calculator, you may also enjoy using the income percentile calculator by state. It’s very similar to this one, except that it’s used to benchmark personal income percentiles against the data for a specific state.
On a related note, we’ve also got a household income percentile calculator by state. It will help you get data, such as the median household income and household income percentiles, for each state.
If you’d like to learn more about different personal income levels, we’ve covered off many different salary levels in greater detail in our articles listed below:
- Is $100k a Good Salary in the US?
- Is $60,000 a Good Salary in the US?
- Is $150k a Good Salary in the US?
- Is $80,000 a Good Salary in the US?
What percentile is $200,000 income?
You are estimated to have be in the 96th to 97th percentile of income in the US.
What percentile is 400k income?
Your income places you in the 99th percentile of wage earners in the United States. You are estimated to be approximately in the 99.171th percentile.
What is 99th percentile income?
Anything above $350,000 in annual individual salary, places you in the 99th percentile in the US.
How do I calculate my salary percentile?
Please use our salary percentile calculator on this page to learn more.
by Andrew Garcia
Andrew, an alumnus of South Florida State College, loves finance, fintech, and coding. When he’s not crunching numbers at the bank, he’s passionately writing about personal finance and building calculators for PFF. See more.