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Earnings of Women Aged 20–59, 1989–2019

Released: May 2022

DEFINITION: Earnings consist of all wages, salaries, and self-employment income in covered and noncovered employment, including earnings that exceed the annual taxable maximum.

Chart. Title: Real Median Annual Earnings of Women Aged 20-59 (in 2019 dollars). Line chart with tabular version below.
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Table equivalent for chart: Real Median Annual Earnings of Women Aged 20–59 (in 2018 dollars)
Year Aged 20–29 Aged 30–39 Aged 40–49 Aged 50–59
1989 20,890 30,370 32,700 30,210
1990 20,473 29,986 32,700 30,130
1991 19,774 29,959 33,068 30,291
1992 19,463 30,212 33,714 31,030
1993 19,042 29,848 33,874 31,216
1994 18,774 29,560 33,925 31,503
1995 18,821 29,637 34,090 31,937
1996 18,875 29,645 34,060 32,463
1997 19,235 30,057 34,470 33,498
1998 20,212 31,119 35,490 34,883
1999 20,510 31,540 35,750 35,620
2000 20,854 32,212 35,885 36,190
2001 20,764 32,704 36,045 36,873
2002 20,478 33,106 36,323 37,779
2003 20,167 33,360 36,207 38,097
2004 20,105 33,704 36,264 38,300
2005 20,006 33,630 36,009 38,267
2006 20,244 33,906 36,240 38,528
2007 20,278 34,246 36,250 38,403
2008 20,063 34,171 36,092 38,246
2009 19,540 34,390 36,380 38,300
2010 18,700 33,944 36,230 37,825
2011 18,278 33,556 36,223 37,341
2012 18,120 33,422 36,057 37,041
2013 18,313 33,636 36,561 37,235
2014 18,652 33,714 37,016 37,344
2015 19,770 35,000 38,644 38,627
2016 20,518 35,516 39,260 38,891
2017 20,790 35,569 39,429 38,808
2018 21,613 36,160 40,025 39,309
2019 22,380 36,890 40,900 39,940
  • For all age groups, real median annual earnings were higher in 2019 than in any of the preceding 30 years.
  • Earnings for women in the three oldest age groups—
    • increased across each decade analyzed, and
    • were lowest between 1989 and 1994.
  • Whereas, earnings for women aged 20–29—
    • declined across the first two decades analyzed, but increased from 2009 through 2019, and
    • were lowest in 2012, shortly after the Great Recession of 2007–2009.
Change in Real Median Annual Earnings (in 2019 Dollars)
Time span Aged 20–29 Aged 30–39 Aged 40–49 Aged 50–59
1989–2019 $1,490
7.1%
$6,520
21.5%
$8,200
25.1%
$9,730
32.2%
1989–1999 −$380
−1.8%
$1,170
3.9%
$3,050
9.3%
$5,410
17.9%
1999–2009 −$970
−4.7%
$2,850
9.0%
$630
1.8%
$2,680
7.5%
2009–2019 $2,840
14.5%
$2,500
7.3%
$4,520
12.4%
$1,640
4.3%
 

SOURCE: Social Security Administration's Continuous Work History Sample.

NOTES: Earnings are indexed to 2019 values based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers and rounded to the nearest $10.

Includes workers with annual earnings equal to or greater than one earnings credit. In 2019 dollars, the earnings required to earn a single credit were $1,031 in 1989, $1,136 in 1999, $1,299 in 2009, and $1,360 in 2019.