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How much you make is a topic few people like to reveal. It's considered impolite in many circles and it's also fairly subjective, depending on your position and skill level, as well as gender, age and race, among other factors.
" " said Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute
To better understand where you really fall on the income scale, Creditrepair.com broke down the median income in the U.S. by education, age, race, geography and gender using Census Bureau data.
How does your paycheck stack up? Click ahead to see how you compare to your peers.
— By CNBC's Jessica Dickler
Posted 11 April 2016
Access to well-paying jobs begins with the availability of quality education early on. Yet higher education doesn't entirely close the economic divide, even for those who complete advanced degrees, according to a study last year by the St. Louis Federal Reserve.
"Higher education alone cannot level the playing field," the authors wrote.
The gender wage gap is apparent when comparing income for men and women with the same educational background. Even when comparing men and women with the same job title at the same company and with similar education and experience, a pay gap remained. Men earned 5.4 percent more than women on average, according to a recent study by salary-tracking website Glassdoor.
"There's still a differential that is unexplained," said Glassdoor career trends analyst Scott Dobroski. "That needs to be fixed and that's where policymakers should come in but it's also on us."
Overall, women make about 76 cents for every dollar a man does, but the spread between men's and women's wages gets wider for those further along in their career.
Among recent college graduates, women earn about 97 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts, according to a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. But by midcareer, male college graduates tend to earn 15 percent more than women, which may be due to discrimination or women's choices concerning education, career and family, or a combination of those factors.
Contrary to what most people think, those near the end of their careers are not the ones making the most money. In reality, median incomes were highest for both men and women between ages 35 and 44, long before they reached the top of the corporate ladder.
The income divide persists between races and, despite a steadily improving job market, unemployment remains much lower among whites and Asians than blacks or Hispanics.
As of last month, the unemployment rate among whites was 4.3 percent and 4 percent for Asians, both below the national average, which in March was 5.0 percent. The unemployment rate for Hispanics was 5.6 percent and 9 percent for blacks.
In addition, Americans of Asian descent have made sizable gains in income and wealth in the past 25 years, outperforming all other races through age 54 — putting them on track to eclipse whites as the wealthiest group of Americans, according to data from the Federal Reserve.
Not accounting for gender, age and race, income also isn't evenly distributed geographically. Thanks in part to its proximity to Washington, D.C., Maryland has the highest median annual income at $76,165.
At the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi had the lowest median income at $35,521 a year.
Nearly every Southern state fell on the low end of the income scale, while New England states fared very well.