Household income is a measure of the combined incomes of all people sharing a particular household or place of residence. It includes every form of income, e.g., salaries and wages, retirement income, near cash government transfers like food stamps, and investment gains.
Average household incomes need not map directly to measures of an individual's earnings such as per capita income as numbers of people sharing households and numbers of income earners per household can vary significantly between regions and over time.
Average household income can be used as an indicator for the monetary well-being of a country's citizens. Mean or median net household income, after taxes and mandatory contributions, are taken as indicators of standard of living, because they include only disposable income and acknowledge people sharing accommodation benefit from pooling at least some of their living costs.
Median income is the amount that divides the income distribution into two equal groups, half having income above that amount, and half having income below that amount. Mean income (average) is the amount obtained by dividing the total aggregate income of a group by the number of units in that group.
Disposable income per capita (OECD)Edit
The list below represents a national accounts derived indicator for a country or territory's gross household disposable income per capita (including social transfers in kind). According to the OECD, 'household disposable income is income available to households such as wages and salaries, income from self-employment and unincorporated enterprises, income from pensions and other social benefits, and income from financial investments (less any payments of tax, social insurance contributions and interest on financial liabilities). 'Gross’ means that depreciation costs are not subtracted.' This indicator also takes account of social transfers in kind 'such as health or education provided for free or at reduced prices by governments and not-for-profit organisations.' The data shown below is published by the OECD and is presented in purchasing power parity (PPP) in order to adjust for price differences between countries.
*Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred and only countries with data from the past two years are shown.
Median equivalent adult incomeEdit
The following table represents data from the OECD's "median disposable income per person" metric; disposable income deducts from gross income taxes on income and wealth as well as contributions paid by households to public social security schemes. The figures are equivalised by dividing income by the square root of household size. As the OECD displays median disposable incomes in each country's respective currency, they have been converted (using PPP conversion factors for private consumption from the same source) in order to account for each country's cost of living in the year that the disposable median income was recorded. Data are in United States dollars at current prices and current purchasing power parity for private consumption for the reference year.
Median household net income (Eurostat)Edit
The following table shows data from Eurostat on household median equivalised net income adjusted for differences in purchasing power between countries. According to Eurostat, 'the total disposable income of a household is calculated by adding together the personal income received by all household members plus income received at household level...Disposable household income includes: All income from work (employee wages and self-employment earnings), private income from investment and property, transfers between households, all social transfers received in cash including old-age pensions.' This indicator does not include non-monetary income components such as the value of goods produced for own consumption, social transfers in kind and non-cash employee income (except company cars). Furthermore, to take account of differences in household sizes, disposable income per household is equivalised.
* Data for Norway, Switzerland, Slovakia and Turkey is from 2020. Most recent data for Iceland and UK is from 2018.
- "Household accounts - Household disposable income - OECD Data". theOECD.
- Income Distribution Database OECD July 2017
- Income Distribution Database 27 October 2022
- "Income Distribution - Median equivalised disposable income - OECD Data". theOECD.
- Eurostat - Median Equivalised Net Income.
- "Income and living conditions (ilc)". ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 21 December 2022.