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Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Minorities
NCES 2007-039
September 2007

Indicator 28: Median Income

One way to compare economic outcomes of education for different groups is to look at the medians of the annual incomes reported by people within each group. This indicator uses data from the Current Population Survey to examine the median incomes of the two sexes and different racial/ethnic groups in 2005 by highest educational attainment.

The median income for all adults ages 25 and over was $40,000 in 2005. For both sexes and all races/ethnicities shown, median income increased as educational attainment increased. The median income for people with graduate degrees ($65,100) was more than twice the median income for those who had completed high school only ($30,300). For each race/ethnicity, males at every level of educational attainment had higher median incomes than their female peers, with the exceptions of Asian/Pacific Islander males and females with less than high school completion and those with some college or an associate's degree and Black males and females with bachelor's degrees.31

Among males, Asians/Pacific Islanders ($50,000) and Whites ($49,000) had higher median incomes than did males of other racial/ethnic groups. American Indian/Alaska Native males also had a higher median income ($40,000) than did Black ($35,000) and Hispanic males ($31,000). At all levels of educational attainment, the median income for Black and Hispanic males was lower than that for White males. Asian/Pacific Islander males also had lower median incomes than their White peers at all levels of educational attainment, with the exception of those with graduate degrees.

Among females, Asians/Pacific Islanders and Whites had higher median incomes ($38,000 and $35,000, respectively) than did Blacks ($30,000), American Indians/Alaska Natives ($28,000), and Hispanics ($27,000). Black and Hispanic females with less than high school completion, those who had completed high school only, and those with some college or an associate's degree as their highest educational attainment had lower median incomes than did White females with the same educational attainment. However, Black females with a bachelor's degree as their highest educational attainment had a higher median income ($45,000) than did White ($42,000) or Hispanic females ($38,000) with this level of attainment. The median incomes of White, Black, and Hispanic females with graduate degrees were not measurably different. Asian/Pacific Islander females who had completed high school only had a lower median income ($25,000) than did White females with this level of attainment ($27,600). Among females with graduate degrees, though, Asian/Pacific Islander females had a higher median income ($62,000) than females of any other race/ethnicity shown. American Indian/Alaska Native females who had completed high school only and those with some college or an associate's degree as their highest educational attainment had lower median incomes than did White females with the same educational attainment. American Indian/Alaska Native females with graduate degrees had a lower median income ($40,000) than females of all other races/ethnicities shown with this level of educational attainment.

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31 The median income for American Indian/Alaska Native males with graduate degrees is not shown because reporting standards were not met.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education