50% of wage earners in 2022 made under $40k.

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via ssa.gov

The national average wage index (AWI) is based on compensation (wages, tips, and the like) subject to Federal income taxes, as reported by employers on Forms W-2. Beginning with the AWI for 1991, compensation includes contributions to deferred compensation plans, but excludes certain distributions from plans where the distributions are included in the reported compensation subject to income taxes. We call the result of including contributions, and excluding certain distributions, net compensation. The table below summarizes the components of net compensation for 2022.

Net compensation components for 2022
Compensation subject to Federal income taxes $10,119,045,815,905.20
Deferred compensation plan
+ 416,416,627,634.48
– 3,717,080,297.40
Net compensation 10,531,745,363,242.28
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Wages on which contributions were paid by 70,514,566 workers.
Distributions, to the extent included in reported wages (see text above), paid to 61,027 workers.

The “raw” average wage, computed as net compensation divided by the number of wage earners, is $10,531,745,363,242.28 divided by 172,030,932, or $61,220.07. Based on data in the table below, about 67.9 percent of wage earners had net compensation less than or equal to the $61,220.07 raw average wage. By definition, 50 percent of wage earners had net compensation less than or equal to the median wage, which is estimated to be $40,847.18 for 2022.

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