In theory, our earnings should rise as we acquire more experience in the workplace (and, hence, get older 🙂 ). In practice, is this true?

According to a recent study by,

“Wondering which demographics earn the most, or how your salary stacks up against others in your state? Using the U.S. Census Bureau’s figures, we broke down income data to find trends by age, race, gender, education, and region – and the results may reshape the way many look at earning potential in America.”

“The first myth to dispel is that wealth is reserved for those near the end of their careers, after they’ve climbed their way to the top of the corporate ladder. In reality, median incomes were highest for both men and women between 35 and 44 (with the 45–54 group running close behind) – reinforcing other research that shows men’s salary typically peaks at 48, while women’s tops out nearly a decade earlier at age 39.”

“It’s also around this time, however, that people are at their least content in life; people aged 40 to 59 are the most miserable on average. Nearly one-third of people in their 40s and 50s contemplate significant career changes that will give them better work-life balance, which may explain why the median income drops for the workforce at age 55 and older.”

Take a look at two infographics from and reach your own conclusions.


12 Replies to “What We Earn by Age, Gender, and Race”

  1. This is an awesome post! The statistics by are really accurate in my opinion based on what I’ve witnessed with my peers and co-workers. Even though we are all created equal, asians prove to be the best at making money. As the saying goes the more you learn the more you earn!

  2. This post is very interesting. I was not expecting the outcome of the results to be like this especially when it came to the race and age graph. I was surprised to see that there wasn’t more of an equal outcome for some of the races in the graph. How much someone is making with age is what I expected it to be.

  3. This post is quite intriguing. The statistic that caught me most off guard was the age one. I find it strange how the maximum salary comes at ages 35-44 and not 44-54, where one would have more experience in their field. It may however come down to self marketing. You as an employee look more attractive to employers when you are young, energetic, and ambitious. This could lead to quicker promotions when jumping company’s, therefore leading to hire salaries. Just a thought.

  4. I found the graph about race-age income pretty surprising. I did not know the income gaps were so large. I did expect a persons income to peak somewhere around the middle part of their life, but I did not expect the drop after that to be so large. At the end of the day money is the most important thing to have in our modern society. You need to be able to support yourself, and your family if you have one. If you look at the average numbers in these graphs and compare them to how much you need to live in NY, and support a family you find that your quality of life is not that good.

  5. Age ranging from 35-54 is the most period that people are full of experience for working. And they are the main force in the company or department and usually on the position of the management so that can guide others.

      1. Really interesting. The first time I know that people would earn less after their 35-44 years old. I thought they would earn more because of the experience and social connection. And the race graph is also interesting. Asian people earn a lot, hope I could also make much money at my career.

  6. I don’t understand the significance of this article. My only objection is that I always thought earnings should be based off of hard work over time and not just experience. However, I don’t see how the information contained in this article is of any significance or utility.

  7. I feel like this article is really helpful in debunking the myth that you’re going to make more as the years go by. I personally believed that myth. I also didn’t know how big of an influence race had on how much money a person can make. It doesn’t really surprise me that after 65 people make less, because at that age, people pick up small jobs after retirement to keep busy. This post gave me a new perspective on something I thought I knew

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