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Quiz Q: What Is the Median Income in the United States?

 
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Fri 4 Apr, 2008 07:51 pm
The median what income? Whose income are you ranking before you pick the middle rank? Households? Individuals? What?

Since I'm unsure what exactly the question was, I didn't vote for any particular answer. That said, I guess that the median household income in the US is about $50,000, and the median individual income, maybe $30,000.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Fri 4 Apr, 2008 07:55 pm
Thanks to lil'k, too, for posting the list by states. I originally would have said around $35K and was surprised that it was so much higher. Sure enough, the median for my state is just over $35K. Obviously I haven't kept up with national stats. Embarrassed
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fishin
 
  1  
Fri 4 Apr, 2008 07:56 pm
nimh wrote:
I.e., the mean income was "$17,210 (39.73%) higher than the median household income" - there's how much the ultra-high incomes skew the numbers.


Well... Not quite accurate though. 36% of the U.S. housholds make more than the average and another 6.5% make between the median and the mean. They all contribute to difference between the mean and median. How much of it is due to those with "ultra-high income" (whatever that means exactly) would require a bunch more data and a lot of crunching.

I don't think anyone would realistically put 36% of U.S. households in the ultra-high income category.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Fri 4 Apr, 2008 08:04 pm
nimh wrote:
I.e., the mean income was "$17,210 (39.73%) higher than the median household income" - there's how much the ultra-high incomes skew the numbers.

Are my libertarian nerve ends fooling me, or is there an undertone of disapproval in this comment? If there is, how much higher than the median income should the average income be in your opinion?
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nimh
 
  1  
Fri 4 Apr, 2008 08:11 pm
Thomas wrote:
The median what income? Whose income are you ranking before you pick the middle rank? Households? Individuals? What?

Household. But you're right, you couldnt have known that since I said not to cheat by clicking on the link before answering the poll.
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nimh
 
  1  
Fri 4 Apr, 2008 08:12 pm
fishin wrote:
Well... Not quite accurate though. 36% of the U.S. housholds make more than the average. They all contribute to bringing it up to that level.

Sure, but the higher up you go, the more they contribute to the difference.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Fri 4 Apr, 2008 08:27 pm
You're goin' get bit in the ass by the law of diminishing returns. As you climb the income scale, the population of those earning those higher amounts decreases, and very likely, begins to decrease much more rapidly than the income earned increases.
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fishin
 
  1  
Fri 4 Apr, 2008 08:30 pm
nimh wrote:
fishin wrote:
Well... Not quite accurate though. 36% of the U.S. housholds make more than the average. They all contribute to bringing it up to that level.

Sure, but the higher up you go, the more they contribute to the difference.


Perhaps. But both the question and the answer you gave are easily misleading.

Most people would easily consider John Kerry - the Democrats Pres. Candidiate in 2004 to be "ultra-rich". But he doesn't have "ultra-high" income. According to his 2004 tax returns his income was $144K. That doesn't even come close to cracking the top 5% of income earners.

What skews the number difference more, 1000 households that earn $5 million/year or 17 million households that each earn $100K/year?
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fishin
 
  1  
Fri 4 Apr, 2008 08:30 pm
Setanta wrote:
You're goin' get bit in the ass by the law of diminishing returns. As you climb the income scale, the population of those earning those higher amounts decreases, and very likely, begins to decrease much more rapidly than the income earned increases.


Heh, yep!
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nimh
 
  1  
Fri 18 Apr, 2008 04:57 pm
This is pretty relevant to the subject - and interesting - plus, a well-deserved rebuke of the Charlie Gibsons of this world:

Quote:
CHART OF THE DAY: WHAT'S THE MIDDLE CLASS?

[Commenter] Abject Funk wonders if, per Charlie Gibson's theorizing about a middle class in which people make $200,000, I could provide a breakdown of the income brackets in this country. No problem. What follows is a graph showing the lower bound for each fifth of the income distribution. So the first quintile starts a $0, then the next bar is the start of the second quintile, and so forth. For comparison sake, I also included the top 5 percent, and Charlie Gibson's middle class.


http://blog.prospect.org/blog/ezraklein/gibsonsmiddleclass-thumb-450x297.jpg


His middle class is what the rest of us would call rich. Gibson, of course, would not. He likely lives in New York City or Washington D.C, both places where it's possible to earn $200,000 and feel squeezed. But the fact that even a family making $200,000 can't live a lifestyle free from all prudence does not make them middle class. Rather, it's just a reflection of the extraordinary wealth that's concentrated into a few hands in this country, and the degree to which inequality has mixed with economic segregation to produce a wildly skewed vision of what constitutes the economic norm. One has to wonder, though, how a media that thinks $200,000 is "middle class" could possibly do a serious job of reporting on a country where the median household income is around $60,000.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Fri 18 Apr, 2008 05:08 pm
I hit the button on $45,000.

Now can I follow the link?
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nimh
 
  1  
Fri 18 Apr, 2008 05:11 pm
Yep Smile
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Fri 18 Apr, 2008 05:26 pm
Interesting. I think I'll stay in Canada. The going's better here.
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2PacksAday
 
  1  
Fri 18 Apr, 2008 08:45 pm
I often read/hear about someone living in the city spending more on rent alone than what we spend on our entire months bills.

A $500 mortgage payment will get you a pretty decent home here.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Fri 18 Apr, 2008 08:51 pm
The rent on my old apartment was $1400/month in 1993.
0 Replies
 
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Fri 18 Apr, 2008 09:47 pm
Yeah, I really can't fathom that....in context I can, but still....jeez.

1400 will get you a very nice house, plus a few acres...of course I understand "city folk" really have no need for a few acres. There is a house a few miles out of town that is set up like the old plantation style.....like "Tara" from Gone With The Wind.....long driveway lined with trees, white fence. I've always wanted to stop and ask them what their payments were, out of curiosity. It was built maybe 3 years ago, so the trees are still young, but in a few decades it will be beautiful.
0 Replies
 
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Fri 18 Apr, 2008 09:52 pm
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p173/2PacksAday/IMG_2981.jpg
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Fri 18 Apr, 2008 09:56 pm
It's all a matter of perspective, isn't it.

I look at that and start getting annoyed at the sight of the grass (I hate hate hate lawn grass). I start wondering what was cut down/torn down to create that space.

Different perspectives, eh.
0 Replies
 
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Fri 18 Apr, 2008 10:11 pm
It was since I can remember, an open field, just like the one to the right of the house...at one time though, I would assume it was woodland, perhaps in the 1880s when most of the land was cleared here for farming...so there are more trees there now than I have ever seen.

There are some houses a bit down the road from that one, that are of a more modern style, but the yards/lawns are about the same size....huge.
0 Replies
 
 

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