What’s a Typical Income in D.C.? It Depends on Your Peer Group.

The median income for a household in D.C. is about $73,000, but household incomes vary widely depending on the type of household you live in. The households with the highest incomes are those headed by married couples. Married people with children at home have a median household income of $161,000, and married people not living with children have a median household income of $136,000. The lowest-income households tend to be those headed by an unmarried person with children. Among these households, the median income is $36,000.

graphic v4

These extremes in income don’t appear to be influenced much by household size once there’s more than one person in the household; 2-, 3-, and 4-person households in the city all have median incomes between roughly $90,000 and $100,000.

The large differences in income are likely due to a number factors, like number of earners in a household; higher incomes for people farther along in their careers; and higher marriage rates for people with college degrees, who are likely to earn more money than those without a college education.

What exactly is this data?

We analyzed the 1-year American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) for 2014. We converted all incomes into inflation-adjusted 2014 dollars.

Here are more details on the household categories we formed for our analysis:

  • Married with kids: Married couple with children present in the household.
  • Married no kids: Married couple with no children present in the household.
  • Two or more unmarried adults living together: Un-married householder living with other adults; no children present. People in household can be related.
  • Living alone: Adult living alone; no children present.
  • Unmarried with kids: Un-married householder with children present in the household. Other adults may be present in the household too.

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