Young American Men Earn Much Less Now Than in 1973

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Men’s median income is on the decline. It’s depressing, but true.

Cheryl Russell of the New Strategist Press writes that, according to Census information, men ages 25 to 34 actually earn less than they did 40 years ago.

Among all American men, ages 15 and older, median income peaked in 2000, at $37,791. After adjusting for inflation, men’s median income fell 10 percent from 2000 to 2012, to $33,904.

While a 10 percent drop in income sounds terrible, it gets worse when you break it down by age groups, Russell said.

Check out these sad statistics for the percentage change in men’s median income from the year it peaked to 2012 (adjusted for inflation):

  • Ages 25-34. Down 27 percent. Peaked in 1973.
  • Ages 35-44. Down 19 percent. Peaked in 1973.
  • Ages 45-54. Down 17 percent. Peaked in 1999.
  • Ages 55-64. Down 13 percent. Peaked in 2003.

Russell said:

The median income of men aged 25 to 34 has plunged since 1973, falling from $46,598 to $34,113 after adjusting for inflation — a loss of $12,485. Men aged 35 to 44 have lost $10,345 since their peak. Men aged 45 to 54 have lost $9,762, and men aged 55 to 64 have lost $6,407.

Do these statistics surprise you? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

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  • Dan Kauffman

    So what? Am I to feel sorry for them? Hasn’t everyones income been hurt by inflation? I’d sure like to see a positive posting about today’s young people. Here’s one, a friend’s daughter went to school to become a pharmacist. When she graduated she was offered a 6 figure salary and the company is paying for her to get a PhD.

  • zebra365

    Automation has removed more middle class jobs than have been lost overseas. All of the low-skilled jobs I did to pay my way to college just don’t exist anymore, anywhere in the world. There are new opportunities for the entrepreneurial, but for the folks who just wanted to clock 40 hours a week and raise a family on that it’s very tough and going to get tougher.

  • Anthony

    In 1973 the cost of living was much lower also because we lived much simpler lives. There were no Sony play stations, X-Box, Nintendo, I phones, I pads, Tablets, 100″ LED Monitors, Computers, laptops, $500 Air Jordans, Cable TV, DVD’s, etc etc. Cars were much simpler and not loaded up with all the latest and greatest tech and safety features that add $10’s of thousands to the price. A college education was affordable and even the poorest person could work his way through school and graduate with zero debt. The price of gas and utilities were very low. I recall paying 25 cents/gal for gas in the late 60’s.

  • M H

    i am shocked! I think it is actually much worse.. Real inflation is around 7-8% a year.. Everyone uses Govt core inflation numbers.. but those are a joke.. and i really doubt most “median” people are getting a raise to offset that..

  • treealbero

    We were a manufacturing economy 40 years ago. We are now service based. An uneducated guy working in a dangerous steel mill is going to make more than an uneducated guy flipping burgera

  • TheAmphicyon .

    Good thing I don’t have ambition or respect for employers.