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How to Compare Your Income to Others (Without Being Rude) [Using 2014 Census Data]

Note: In late 2016, the US Census Bureau released data for the 2015 CPS ASEC. To see where you rank under this latest survey, visit the updated version of this article by clicking here.

Everyone likes to compare themselves to others—it’s basic human nature. But comparing your income to others is not a topic of polite conversation. This cultural bar makes complete sense. Whenever incomes are compared, inevitably someone emerges feeling at least a little inferior. No polite conversation should ever end that way.

Instead of making direct comparisons about income, some people compare in indirect ways, such as by mimicking the purchases of their neighbors. Such “keeping up with the Joneses” is expensive and adds little to a person’s happiness (of course, it adds greatly to the happiness of retailers).

If you could compare your income to others without making impolite conversation or outspending your neighbors, would you do it? If your answer is “yes,” then you’ve come to the right place.

The Current Population Survey and Annual Social and Economic Supplement

Each year, the US Census Bureau asks a large number of Americans detailed questions about their annual incomes—wages, interest, dividends, alimony, child support, rents, governmental monetary benefits, etc. The latest available results of this survey, known as the Current Population Survey and Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC), were released on September 16, 2015. Surveys were sent to approximately 100,000 addresses in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Individuals 15 years and older were asked to report income received during the 2014 calendar year from all sources except for noncash benefits such as food stamps or transportation subsidies.

The 2014 CPS ASEC reports income survey results for both households and individuals. For households, the survey results cover incomes between $5,000 and $250,000. Households below this range rank somewhere in the lower 3.67th percentile and households above this range rank somewhere in the upper 96.98th percentile. For individuals, the survey results cover incomes between $2,500 and $250,000. Individuals below this range rank in the lower 18.39th percentile and individuals above this range rank in the upper 99.16th percentile.

This post expands the 2014 CPS ASEC data by a process of linear interpolation and reports the results in two different formats: (1) an online interactive calculator; and (2) a pair of tables, one for households and one for individuals. No matter which format you choose, the reported percentiles will be identical.

To use the calculator, simply enter your annual gross income where indicated, click the “Show Income Rankings!” button, and view the results. If the result reported is “undefined,” this means that the income you entered is either below or above the range of reported incomes in the 2014 CPS ASEC.

To use either table, simply scroll down the “Income” column until you reach the dollar figure that’s nearest to but not over your household or individual income. The corresponding number in the next column, the “Percentile” column, reports where you rank in the survey.

Income Ranking Calculator

Enter your gross income here: $


Your household income ranking will appear in this space.

Your individual income ranking will appear in this space.

Table No. 1: Household Income Data from the CPS ASEC for 2014

If your household had at least x dollars in income, then y percent of households surveyed made less than you

Income Percentile
$5,000 3.67%
$6,000 4.36%
$7,000 5.06%
$8,000 5.75%
$9,000 6.44%
$10,000 7.14%
$11,000 8.22%
$12,000 9.31%
$13,000 10.39%
$14,000 11.48%
$15,000 12.57%
$16,000 13.66%
$17,000 14.74%
$18,000 15.83%
$19,000 16.92%
$20,000 18.01%
$21,000 19.11%
$22,000 20.21%
$23,000 21.31%
$24,000 22.42%
$25,000 23.52%
$26,000 24.54%
$27,000 25.56%
$28,000 26.58%
$29,000 27.60%
$30,000 28.63%
$31,000 29.63%
$32,000 30.63%
$33,000 31.63%
$34,000 32.63%
$35,000 33.63%
$36,000 34.57%
$37,000 35.51%
$38,000 36.45%
$39,000 37.39%
$40,000 38.33%
$41,000 39.20%
$42,000 40.07%
$43,000 40.94%
$44,000 41.82%
$45,000 42.69%
$46,000 43.50%
$47,000 44.31%
$48,000 45.12%
$49,000 45.94%
$50,000 46.75%
$51,000 47.56%
$52,000 48.38%
$53,000 49.20%
$54,000 50.01%
$55,000 50.83%
$56,000 51.51%
$57,000 52.18%
$58,000 52.86%
$59,000 53.54%
$60,000 54.22%
$61,000 54.94%
$62,000 55.65%
$63,000 56.37%
$64,000 57.09%
$65,000 57.81%
$66,000 58.41%
$67,000 59.00%
$68,000 59.60%
$69,000 60.19%
$70,000 60.79%
$71,000 61.39%
$72,000 61.99%
$73,000 62.59%
$74,000 63.19%
$75,000 63.79%
$76,000 64.35%
$77,000 64.91%
$78,000 65.46%
$79,000 66.02%
$80,000 66.58%
$81,000 67.09%
$82,000 67.59%
$83,000 68.10%
$84,000 68.60%
$85,000 69.11%
$86,000 69.55%
$87,000 69.99%
$88,000 70.43%
$89,000 70.87%
$90,000 71.31%
$91,000 71.74%
$92,000 72.17%
$93,000 72.60%
$94,000 73.02%
$95,000 73.45%
$96,000 73.83%
$97,000 74.20%
$98,000 74.58%
$99,000 74.95%
$100,000 75.33%
$101,000 75.76%
$102,000 76.19%
$103,000 76.62%
$104,000 77.05%
$105,000 77.48%
$106,000 77.81%
$107,000 78.14%
$108,000 78.48%
$109,000 78.81%
$110,000 79.14%
$111,000 79.45%
$112,000 79.76%
$113,000 80.07%
$114,000 80.37%
$115,000 80.68%
$116,000 80.94%
$117,000 81.20%
$118,000 81.47%
$119,000 81.73%
$120,000 81.99%
$121,000 82.29%
$122,000 82.58%
$123,000 82.88%
$124,000 83.18%
$125,000 83.48%
$126,000 83.71%
$127,000 83.95%
$128,000 84.18%
$129,000 84.41%
$130,000 84.65%
$131,000 84.89%
$132,000 85.13%
$133,000 85.38%
$134,000 85.62%
$135,000 85.86%
$136,000 86.06%
$137,000 86.25%
$138,000 86.45%
$139,000 86.64%
$140,000 86.84%
$141,000 87.05%
$142,000 87.25%
$143,000 87.46%
$144,000 87.67%
$145,000 87.87%
$146,000 88.04%
$147,000 88.20%
$148,000 88.37%
$149,000 88.53%
$150,000 88.70%
$151,000 88.88%
$152,000 89.06%
$153,000 89.25%
$154,000 89.43%
$155,000 89.62%
$156,000 89.75%
$157,000 89.89%
$158,000 90.02%
$159,000 90.16%
$160,000 90.30%
$161,000 90.44%
$162,000 90.58%
$163,000 90.72%
$164,000 90.86%
$165,000 91.00%
$166,000 91.13%
$167,000 91.25%
$168,000 91.38%
$169,000 91.50%
$170,000 91.63%
$171,000 91.75%
$172,000 91.86%
$173,000 91.98%
$174,000 92.09%
$175,000 92.21%
$176,000 92.30%
$177,000 92.40%
$178,000 92.50%
$179,000 92.60%
$180,000 92.69%
$181,000 92.79%
$182,000 92.89%
$183,000 92.99%
$184,000 93.09%
$185,000 93.19%
$186,000 93.28%
$187,000 93.37%
$188,000 93.46%
$189,000 93.55%
$190,000 93.64%
$191,000 93.71%
$192,000 93.79%
$193,000 93.87%
$194,000 93.95%
$195,000 94.03%
$196,000 94.10%
$197,000 94.17%
$198,000 94.24%
$199,000 94.31%
$200,000 94.38%
$201,000 94.43%
$202,000 94.48%
$203,000 94.53%
$204,000 94.58%
$205,000 94.64%
$206,000 94.69%
$207,000 94.74%
$208,000 94.79%
$209,000 94.84%
$210,000 94.90%
$211,000 94.95%
$212,000 95.00%
$213,000 95.05%
$214,000 95.11%
$215,000 95.16%
$216,000 95.21%
$217,000 95.26%
$218,000 95.31%
$219,000 95.37%
$220,000 95.42%
$221,000 95.47%
$222,000 95.52%
$223,000 95.57%
$224,000 95.63%
$225,000 95.68%
$226,000 95.73%
$227,000 95.78%
$228,000 95.84%
$229,000 95.89%
$230,000 95.94%
$231,000 95.99%
$232,000 96.04%
$233,000 96.10%
$234,000 96.15%
$235,000 96.20%
$236,000 96.25%
$237,000 96.30%
$238,000 96.36%
$239,000 96.41%
$240,000 96.46%
$241,000 96.51%
$242,000 96.57%
$243,000 96.62%
$244,000 96.67%
$245,000 96.72%
$246,000 96.77%
$247,000 96.83%
$248,000 96.88%
$249,000 96.93%
$250,000 96.98%

Source: https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032015/hhinc/toc.htm, HINC-01 & HINC-06

Table No. 2: Individual Income Data from the CPS ASEC for 2014

If you individually had at least x dollars in income, then y percent of individuals surveyed made less than you

Income Percentile
$2,500 18.39%
$3,000 18.91%
$3,500 19.43%
$4,000 19.95%
$4,500 20.47%
$5,000 20.99%
$5,500 21.64%
$6,000 22.29%
$6,500 22.94%
$7,000 23.59%
$7,500 24.24%
$8,000 25.09%
$8,500 25.94%
$9,000 26.78%
$9,500 27.63%
$10,000 28.47%
$10,500 29.50%
$11,000 30.52%
$11,500 31.55%
$12,000 32.58%
$12,500 33.60%
$13,000 34.30%
$13,500 35.00%
$14,000 35.69%
$14,500 36.39%
$15,000 37.09%
$15,500 37.93%
$16,000 38.76%
$16,500 39.60%
$17,000 40.44%
$17,500 41.28%
$18,000 41.91%
$18,500 42.55%
$19,000 43.18%
$19,500 43.82%
$20,000 44.45%
$20,500 45.34%
$21,000 46.23%
$21,500 47.11%
$22,000 48.00%
$22,500 48.89%
$23,000 49.43%
$23,500 49.97%
$24,000 50.51%
$24,500 51.05%
$25,000 51.59%
$25,500 52.31%
$26,000 53.03%
$26,500 53.76%
$27,000 54.48%
$27,500 55.20%
$28,000 55.64%
$28,500 56.08%
$29,000 56.53%
$29,500 56.97%
$30,000 57.41%
$30,500 58.19%
$31,000 58.96%
$31,500 59.74%
$32,000 60.52%
$32,500 61.29%
$33,000 61.63%
$33,500 61.96%
$34,000 62.29%
$34,500 62.62%
$35,000 62.95%
$35,500 63.56%
$36,000 64.17%
$36,500 64.78%
$37,000 65.39%
$37,500 66.00%
$38,000 66.31%
$38,500 66.62%
$39,000 66.93%
$39,500 67.24%
$40,000 67.55%
$40,500 68.18%
$41,000 68.81%
$41,500 69.44%
$42,000 70.07%
$42,500 70.70%
$43,000 70.94%
$43,500 71.18%
$44,000 71.42%
$44,500 71.65%
$45,000 71.89%
$45,500 72.31%
$46,000 72.73%
$46,500 73.15%
$47,000 73.57%
$47,500 73.99%
$48,000 74.23%
$48,500 74.48%
$49,000 74.72%
$49,500 74.96%
$50,000 75.21%
$52,500 77.77%
$55,000 78.73%
$57,500 80.29%
$60,000 81.05%
$62,500 82.93%
$65,000 83.60%
$67,500 84.79%
$70,000 85.34%
$72,500 86.61%
$75,000 87.12%
$77,500 88.20%
$80,000 88.61%
$82,500 89.61%
$85,000 90.01%
$87,500 90.60%
$90,000 90.91%
$92,500 91.60%
$95,000 91.86%
$97,500 92.25%
$100,000 92.53%
$105,000 92.98%
$110,000 93.43%
$115,000 93.88%
$120,000 94.33%
$125,000 94.78%
$130,000 95.23%
$135,000 95.67%
$140,000 96.12%
$145,000 96.57%
$150,000 97.02%
$155,000 97.17%
$160,000 97.33%
$165,000 97.48%
$170,000 97.63%
$175,000 97.78%
$180,000 97.94%
$185,000 98.09%
$190,000 98.24%
$195,000 98.39%
$200,000 98.55%
$250,000 99.16%

Source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032015/perinc/toc.htm, PINC-01 & PINC-11

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