Income Distribution

CBO regularly analyzes the distribution of household income before and after government transfers and federal taxes. The agency also studies federal programs designed to reduce poverty and increase income security.

  • Report

    In 2017, average household income before accounting for means-tested transfers and federal taxes was $21,300 for the lowest quintile and $309,400 for the highest quintile. After transfers and taxes, those averages were $35,900 and $229,700.

  • Report

    This report projects the distributions of household income, means-tested transfers, and federal taxes under current law in 2021 and compares them with the actual distributions in 2016.

  • Report

    In 2016, average household income before accounting for means-tested transfers and federal taxes was $21,000 for the lowest quintile and $291,000 for the highest quintile. After transfers and taxes, those averages were $35,000 and $214,000.