Distribution of Personal Income

These statistics take one of BEA's primary economic indicators—U.S. personal income—and measure how it is distributed across households. This provides a way to assess how households share in the nation's economic growth. The statistics build on more than a decade of BEA research by bringing in new sources of data, including demographic surveys, aggregated tax records, and administrative records.
The first prototype statistics were published in March 2020. Since then, BEA has continued publishing new data and making improvements:

  • Distribution of disposable personal income added in 2020.
  • Supplemental internationally comparable data added in 2022.
  • State distribution of personal income added in October 2023.
  • Interactive data tables for the national statistics added in December 2023.
About the December 2023 Update

2023 Update

The December 2023 distribution of personal income release adds full data for 2021 and provisional data for 2022. Estimates for 2021 are available as a separate file, consistent with previous releases. Full estimates for 2000-2021 are available in a pooled summary file. Given the importance of providing timely data, extrapolations were made for several income sources with unavailable data to provide distributional estimates for 2022 (provisional summary file). Because the top 1% and top 5% income shares are substantially influenced by not-yet-available Statistics of Income source data for 2022, interval ranges are provided for these estimates.

Distribution of State Personal Income

BEA's first prototype statistics on the distribution of personal income across households within each state and the District of Columbia were released in October 2023. These statistics build on BEA's methodology used to estimate the national distribution of personal income. They are consistent with and complement existing BEA data on state personal income totals. Data users are invited to provide feedback on these prototype state statistics as we continue to research and make improvements.

Internationally Comparable Statistics

An updated series of internationally comparable inequality research statistics has been provided for the same years (2000-2021 + provisional 2022) that follow the guidance of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Expert Group on Disparities in a National Accounts framework (EG DNA). Following the same structure as the BEA distribution of personal income tables, this release includes separate file estimates for 2021 and 2022, and summary table for 2000-2020. These tables (and accompanying methodology document) are provided in Supplemental Information below.

Distribution of Personal Consumption Expenditures

To provide a fuller picture of the well-being of households, BEA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) have collaborated to develop a distribution of personal consumption expenditures (PCE) that is based on the Consumer Expenditure Survey. This is an ongoing research project, with the latest estimates and methodology available on the Distribution of Personal Consumption Expenditures BLS page.

  • Includes distribution of state personal income by quintile and top/bottom 10%, 2012–2021.
  • Download a summary file of state inequality metrics for 2012-2021 XLSX
  • Download detailed files for all states. ZIP(XLSX)
  • State Rankings XLSX State rankings for mean and median personal income, before and after adjusting for inflation and regional price differences.
  • Technical Document PDF October 24, 2023
    This document details BEA's methodology for the prototype estimates.
  • Developing Statistics on the Distribution of State Personal Income: Methodology and Preliminary Results PDF By Dirk van Duym and Christian Awuku-Budu | U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, May 2022

What is Distribution of Personal Income?

Measures how households are sharing in the U.S. economy's growth. Shows how total personal income in the United States is distributed across households.

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