Median Income Definition

The median income of a demographic is simply the median of the individual household incomes of the entire demographic. Median income data are used by governmental and private organizations to set policy and for operations. As medians are function with nonparametric data they are sometimes considered more suitable for certain applications than mean data. For example, with nearly any large demographic the median income will be significantly lower than the mean income because of the disparate (nonparametric) distribution of wealth across US households. Therefore, policy established using mean incomes will typically favor more wealthy individuals while policy established using median incomes will typically favor poorer individuals.