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Median Income


The median income is the exact income value that is in the middle of all incomes within a predetermined region, meaning that half of all incomes are above this value and half of all incomes are below this value. Note, that the median income is not to be confused with the average income, which is calculated differently. PRECEDE allows us to view the medium income of a place at various levels of granularity, including the medium income within a census tract, within a county, or state-wide.

Context/Impact on Health

Income, and more broadly socioeconomic status, is a social determinant of health and is a predictor of health disparities. Higher income is associated with better health outcomes, while lower income is associated with worse health outcomes. As a result, inequalities can be clearly seen in families with income below the median. It is important to note that the median income is purely a statistical calculation and does not definitively predict health status, as individual and family’s above the median income may suffer from similar health risks below the median due to other, non-income related determinants of health.

Data Collection Methodology

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide survey that collects information on the demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics of the US population. The ACS is an ongoing survey sent to 3.5 million addresses each year. Income data are collected via the American Community Survey (ACS) and the median is then calculated from the reported responses.


Click here for References
  1. Median Income Data Source: US Census Bureau. ACS: Income. Data year 2019. Accessed April 2023.
  2. Lynch J, Smith GD, Harper S, et al. Is income inequality a determinant of population health? Part 1. A systematic review. Milbank Q. 2004;82(1):5-99. doi:10.1111/j.0887-378x.2004.00302.x
  3. Khullar D, Chokshi D. Health, Income, & Poverty: Where We Are & What Could Help. Health Affairs. Published online October 4, 2019. doi:10.1377/hpb20180817.901935
  4. Tibber MS, Walji F, Kirkbride JB, Huddy V. The association between income inequality and adult mental health at the subnational level-a systematic review. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2022;57(1):1-24. doi:10.1007/s00127-021-02159-w
  5. US Census Bureau. Median Household Income. Accessed October 16, 2023.