One in seven married couples made 200k/yr or more in 2017

That is courtesy of the American Community Survey’s 1 year estimate for that year.

One in nine make 150-199k per year.

Put it together and we now have 1/4 of married parents with $150,000 or more annual household income.

The largest single income group remains $100-149,999 per year, with now over 5 million households but still about 23% of the total.

Put 25 and 23 together and you get 48% of married parents make 100k a year or more as a household in 2017. Remember, in 2006 48% made 75k/yr or more (in current dollars).

Now barely 7 million households bring in 50-99k per year (still split about 50/50 from 50-74k and 75k-99k), which is barely 1/3 of married parents.

We’ve reached the point where less than 1/5 of married parents have household incomes of 49k per year or less.  Let that sink in.

The true middle range for all the people married and raising kids right now is 100-150k.  This is true even in the lowest income region, the South,  at 43% above 100k.  For the Midwest and West it’s 48% and for the Northeast it’s 57%, or a clear majority.

What were things like 11 years ago in 2006?

200k- 6% nationally

150-199k- 6% nationally

100-149k- 18% nationally

75k-99k- 18% nationally (now under 16% in 2017)

50-75k was the single largest group broken out nationally in 2006. It was 23% nationally.  It’s shrunk a lot since then and is between 16 and 17% for 2017.

So in 2006 the true middle range was more like 75k-100k, and nearly 30% of married parents had sub-50k household income for the year.

The bottom rungs are rapidly dropping out of the married parents ladder.

Under 75k went from a slight majority of 52% of such households in 2006 to about 1/3 in 2017.

Or the other way around, in 2006 48% of married couples with kids made 75k per year or more.  In 2017, it’s almost 2/3 (64%).


45% of SAHMs are in households earning 75k or more annually (2018 update).

And of that number, 2/3  are still in households earning 100k/yr or more.  Those numbers have been pretty stable over the last decade.  The percentage has gone up because there’s been a further decline in married parents while the total number of SAHMs was essentially unchanged from the earlier data.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2018 Annual Social and Economic Supplement

Married parents and the public school exit.

No matter how many ways you slice the onion, it’s becoming more and more the case that married parents are exiting or very strategically accessing the public school system.  This poses real medium and long term issues regarding funding and support for public school teachers.

What does exit mean?  It means 30%+ of married parents’ kids are outside the public school system or inside it via de facto segregation tactics like specialized, high-parent-participation “options” or outright effective magnets/charters within a larger public school.  About 15% are in private schools, with a steady increase in private Protestant schools specifically (although the general private school split is 45% Catholic, 40% Protestant, and secular bringing up the rump end at around 15%.  The classical Christian academy is maturing away from co-op models to full-time private schools all over the country.  Another approximately 7% are homeschooling full time, typically longer than a year but less than full K-12.  Another 8-10% are doing various combinations of specialized public school programs, homeschooling using the public school curriculum (public-private partnership, “alternative educational approach”, the various names for this make it hard to break out on its own), and mixed schooling (combining several part-time school options).

Homeschooling is completely normalized now as an option to include in the college prep race among the very parents who dominate married parenthood, the college educated majority.  It’s not part of a “fundie fringe”, it’s something a double digit percentage of married parents do for at least one year between K-12.

Also, kids just never stop costing money now, because all these options have costs in time and money.  Either you’re writing checks, one parent is not working full time or outside the home, or both.  The other side of it is that public schools push fringier and fringier views on the remaining children whose parents can’t optimize them into a special program where that stuff doesn’t come up or is cheerfully waivered out.  Where I live, essentially in our version of the higher-end NYC public magnet schools, an example fringy goal is to teach transgender advocacy to kindergarteners in the “regular” public schools.    It’s already approved, implementation is coming in another school year or so.

So even the very liberal parents who might be fine with this in junior high are making plans to do for-pay K or even K-3, on top of 7k/mo mortgages and 1k/mo property taxes to pay 100k salaries to teachers and 150k salaries to administrators who added this stuff to the curriculum.  Exit isn’t cheap, and it’s not getting cheaper, but it is increasing over time anyway.  This is not a stable equilibrium.