What Percentage of American Households Make Over $200k a Year?

Updated · May 24, 2022

It’s natural for us to want the best for ourselves—to be happy, healthy, and abundant.

Financial prosperity concerns us to a different extent, as well. Moreover, our income is closely tied to the lifestyle and healthcare we can afford. It can even affect our overall state of happiness.

Today, our focus is on what percentage of American households make over $200k. They say that money is not everything, but we still need it just because our world works that way.

Before we start looking into the income of US families in-depth, let’s briefly go through the highlights:

Interesting Facts About US Households (Editor’s Choice):

  • In 2019, 22.22 million US households lived with under $25,000 a year.
  • In 2020, the median household income in America was $67,521.
  • Earning between $150,000 to $200,000 annually ranks you among the top 5% of working Americans.
  • A household income of $141,100 a year puts you in the 80th percentile.
  • 42% of paycheck-to-paycheck living Americans can pay their bills.
  • Currently, 34.3% of US households make a six-figure income.
  • Women earn $189 less than men weekly.

What Percentage of American Households Make Over 200k in 2022

All fellow Americans would agree that making 200k a year is at least twice better than 100k. But how to do it, and how many of us are doing it?

The time to answer the big questions has finally come.

Just stay calm.

1. An average of 6.68% of US households make over 200k.

(Source: World Population Review)

Now that we have the number, another question arises. Is 200k a year good, and can you consider yourself rich if you make that much?

The Biden administration views households and individuals who make over $400k as rich. So, 200k may be a reasonable sum but doesn’t make you rich in the eyes of the current US Government.

On the other hand:

2. A 200k salary a year in lower-cost US areas puts you among the rich.

(Source: Financial Samurai)

However, in expensive coastal cities, you’re considered upper middle class. It all depends on where in America you live—the state itself and the city. We’ll discuss that a bit later.

3.  American households earning more than $100,000 increased by 0.5% in 2022.

(Source: Ibis World)

You may also wonder what percentage of American households make over 100k in 2022. The current number is 34.3%. In 2021, that was 33.8%.

The good news is that we still have an increase, no matter how small. Due to the pandemic, there was a 1% drop between 2019 to 2020.

4. The average 2022 yearly salary in America is $53,490.

(Source: Jobted)

It means that the weekly wage for a 40-hour workweek is $1,028. If you earn more than that, you can consider yourself above the average for the US standard in 2022.

Now, compared to this stat’s data, 200k is a good salary.

5. On average, 15.28% of US households earn between 100k to 150k.

(Source: World Population Review)

However, when moving a segment up to households earning 150k–200k, the average percentage is more than twice lower—6.52%. The same goes for those making over 200k—6.68%. Logically, the more we move up the income ladder, the fewer people earn that much.

6. In 2021, the average American needed $240,712 to be in the top 5 percent income.

(Source: CNBC)

If you wanted to rank among the top 1% in 2021, you had to pull in $600,000 a year. If it looks like a cosmic number, it’s probably because it is—it’s almost 2.5 times bigger than what the top 5% made.

7. 48.3% of Americans making over 100k live paycheck to paycheck.

(Source: PR Newswire)

This stat refers to the percentage of individuals making over $100k in 2022 and living off of the next paycheck. 48.3% is an optimistic figure. In November 2021, that number was as high as 50.3%.

If we dig deeper, we’ll discover that 66.5% of Americans making $50k–$100k and 77% of those earning under $50k a year also live paycheck to paycheck.

8. 42% of paycheck-to-paycheck living Americans can pay their bills.

(Source: PR Newswire)

The other good news is that there’s a 3% increase in paycheck-to-paycheck living residents who aren’t struggling to pay bills. The growth was between December 2021 (39%) to January 2022 (42%).

Now, let’s see what percentage of Americans make over 400k next. They are the rich ones.

9. 1.8% of Americans make over $400,000 annually.

(Source: CNBC)

This rare group earns 25% of the national income. But it turns out that not all of them live in clover, especially in costly cities such as Los Angeles, Boston, San Diego, Honolulu, New York, Washington, or San Francisco.

10. US residents may need $300,000 or more to have a middle-class lifestyle.

(Source: Financial Samurai)

That $300k threshold applies to those who raise a family in expensive cities like New York or San Francisco. Current inflation might be the reason for such a high amount.

Median Household Income in the US

Let’s refresh our math knowledge.

The median number is precisely in the middle. So, half of the households will have an income below it, and the other half—above it. The average is the total income sum divided by the number of households.

Now that you know how to distinguish median and average incomes, we can continue:

11. The US median household income is $74,099.

(Source: Seeking Alpha)

Our data is based on estimates for January 2022. However, we have just a $3 increase from the previous inflation-adjusted estimate of December 2021, which was $74,096.

The good news is that the initial calculation for December 2022 was $72,933. So in January, we already have a 1.6% increase, or $1,166.

12. $141,100 household income a year ranked you among the 80th percentile in 2021.

(Source: DQYDJ)

The other household income percentiles were as follows:

  • 99th percentile (top 1%)—$504,420
  • 90th percentile—$201,052
  • 75th percentile—$122,500
  • 50th percentile (median)—$67,463
  • 25th percentile—$33,003
  • 10th percentile—$15,600

Another interesting fact is that 43,588,408 US households had a six-figure income in 2021.

13. The median US income for households dropped by $2,039 between 2019 to 2020.

(Source: Statista)

We all know what happened in 2020—COVID-19. The median American household income then was $67,521, while a year earlier, it amounted to $69,560. That’s a 2.93% drop.

But it gets worse:

14. 11.4% of Americans were living in poverty in 2020.

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

That equals 37.2 million people! In 2019, the poverty rate was 10.5%—the lowest in the US since 1990. However, there was an increase of almost 1% in 2020, or 3.3 million.

Against such statistics, thinking about what percentage of American households make over $200k feels slightly off.

On top of that, unfortunately, the child poverty rate also increased by 1.7% from 2019 (14.4%) to 2020 (16.1%). This metric refers to people under 18 years old.

15. In Q1 2022, the median weekly earnings of all working Americans were $1,037.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics)

There is a 4.9% increase compared to Q1 2021. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the salary and wage earners working full time in the first quarter of 2022 were 117.5 million.

16. The average US household income in 2021 was $96,955.

(Source: DQYDJ)

In 2020, the same metric was about $97,974. So we have a decrease of $1,019, or 1.04%. The reasons for such a drop are unknown.

17. In 2021, the unemployment rate in America dropped by 2.8%.

(Source: Statista)

It peaked at 8.1% in the 2020 COVID-19 period and decreased to 5.3% a year later. During the pre-pandemic 2019, US unemployment was as low as 3.7%—the lowest rate since 1990.

However, in 2022, it is expected that 159.82 million Americans will be employed. In comparison, the 2020 number was 147.79 million.

Median Income per Capita in the US

We learned about the income of US households. Next up are individual earnings.

We’ll investigate the median and the average numbers here since we already know how they differ.

Now, let’s take a closer look:

18. In 2020, the average income per capita was $53,996.

(Source: The Balance)

You wanted to know what was the average income in the US per capita, and you got it. The sum is almost 0.25% lower than that of 2019—$54,129. COVID-19 might be involved in that decrease.

The real median income per capita in the US reached $35,805 in 2020. The same metric in 2019 was $36,426, so we have a 1.7% drop.

19. A neurosurgeon is the job that pays the most of all industries.

(Source: Jobted)

The average salary of a neurosurgeon in 2022 is $428,300 annually.

More professions that earn $300k–$400k are:

  • Cardiothoracic, cardiac, vascular, and orthopedic surgeons
  • Diagnostic and interventional radiologists
  • Pulmonologists, urologists, and radiation oncologists
  • Gastroenterologists, endodontists, and radiologists

Other jobs that make over 200k but less than 300k a year are also in the medical field: anesthesiologist, plastic surgeon, periodontist, ophthalmologist, emergency room doctor, oral surgeon, dermatologist, oncologist, cardiologist, orthodontist, endocrinologist, psychiatrist, gynecologist, hematologist, rheumatologist, neurologist, etc.

So if you aim for a salary above $200,000, we gave you more than enough suggestions.

20. In 2021, there was a 7.4% increase in the state personal income.

(Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis)

The growth of personal income in 2021 refers to all US states and the District of Columbia. It’s due to property income from rent, interest, and dividends, as well as transfer receipts and higher earnings.

Household Income Distribution by State

Each American state has its annual income standards. Some are more expensive than others, and to live the lifestyle you want, you may have to choose. So from this point of view, variety is a good thing.

Now, let’s look at some stats based on gender, age, and income:

21. In Q1 2022, women’s median weekly earnings were $189 lower than men’s.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Women earned a median of $939, while men made $1,128. If we view men’s earnings as 100%, then women took 83.2% of that one hundred.

22. New Jersey has the most percentage of households earning over 200k.

(Source: World Population Review)

Still wondering if 200k a year is good? The 14% of New Jersey households that are making it know the answer.

On the other hand, in West Virginia and Mississippi, only 3% of households earn more than $200,000—the lowest in America.

23. Washington, D.C. ranks first by median US household income.

(Source: World Population Review)

The exact number is $92,266. The state with the next highest median is Maryland ($84,805), while the one with the lowest of $45,081 is Mississippi.

24. Men between 45 to 54 have the highest weekly earnings in the US.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

US income distribution per week by gender and age is as follows (data is from Q1 2022):

  • Women ages 55–64—$997
  • Women ages 45–54—$1,063
  • Women ages 35–44—$1,037
  • Women ages 16–24—$628
  • Men over 65—$1,281
  • Men ages 55–64—$1,246
  • Men ages 45–54—$1,274
  • Men ages 35–44—$1,257
  • Men ages 16–24— $694

25. You need to pull in almost $900,000 to be in Connecticut's top 1% income.

(Source: CNBC)

Income levels in the US vary a lot for the 99th percentile. In Connecticut, the exact sum to be at the top is $896,490. To enter the top 5% in this state, you’ll need at least $311,589.

However, in West Virginia, things are entirely different—the top 5% income threshold is only $171,135. Moreover, the top 1% entry sum is $350,212. Such annual earnings can barely rank you in the 95th percentile in Connecticut.

Wrap Up

Now that we know what percentage of American households make over $200k, it’s time we made some conclusions. It turns out that income is closely bound to the state and city you live in. Medical professions have the highest earnings, and women make less than men.

But no matter where in the US we live, the strive for a better life is within us. Our future is in our hands, and if we want to improve something, we certainly can.

Aleksandra Yosifova
Aleksandra Yosifova

With an eye for research, Aleksandra is determined to always get to the bottom of things. If there’s a glitch in the system, she’ll find it and make sure you know about it.