Hard learning: The American Income Mean vs Median

Matt Phillips reporter for Quartz, and previously the Wall Street Journal, offers assistance as people try to figure out the difference between mean and median income. From his perspective it appears Americans may be learning by proverbial “osmosis” rather than studiously as incomes diverge. With analysis from the Federal Reserve’s triennial survey of consumer finances Mr. Phillips shows how exactly the economy has improved.

Excerpt from article:

“despite the fact that mean income rose 4% to $87,200 per family, median income actually fell by 5% to $46,700 between 2010 and 2013.”

To be clear this means that the number of people making below median income has increased so significantly that the median actually fell while the majority of money itself rose for those fewer above median income.

Painfully, American families are learning the difference between median and mean

by Matt Phillips

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