The median household income in the United States is $59,039, according to new data from the U.S. Census. But that number doesn't provide a clear or accurate picture for everyone, as earnings fluctuate depending on factors such as age, race and gender.
In fact, American men tend to earn close to the median income for the country as a whole, while their female counterparts fall far below it.
Here's the median income American men are earning at every age, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the second quarter of 2017:
Men are not only earning higher wages than women in general, but their peak earning age comes significantly later. While women reach their height around age 40, men continue to see salary increases for 10 more years, until they're about 50.
For comparison, here's the median income American women are earning at every age, according to BLS data:
This is partially because male college graduates earn more from the get-go. They bring home a median salary of $50,200 at age 22 while their female counterparts earn $39,800 per year, a difference of $10,400.
"Whenever you're talking about the differences in earnings between men and women, it often ties back to the jobs that they're actually holding," PayScale's vice president of data analytics Katie Bardaro tells CNBC Make It.
While more women hold common jobs as nurses, teachers and social workers, men are more concentrated in high-paying jobs that also feature higher earnings over time, like software developer and engineer, Bardaro says.
Data from tech and other industries have also shown, however, that women are still, on average, paid less even for the same job at the same company — and so are people of color.
Women are pushing to catch up. Some predict they definitely will, and soon.
"Millennial women are so outpacing men in higher education that it's inevitable they will become their generation's top earners," reports Fast Company, using data from a Pew Research study. "With greater education comes greater wealth."
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