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All new data on what your income says about you

Marketplace's Wealth and Poverty Desk is tracking the connections between what we make and how we live, work and play. And we're doing it with a data interactive tool called Income Upshot. We launched the tool back in September with all kinds of data ... and now we're adding a whole new slate of data. 

Like, how does income line up with political ideology? How much TV do we watch at different incomes? Is there a correlation between gun ownership and income? And, just for fun, do certain astrological signs show up more at certain income levels?

As before, we’re using data from  the U.S. Census Bureau, marketing firms, academic researchers and other sources to explore what someone's income can tell us about their lifestyle and consumer behavior.

A few notes on the data and how we represent it:

Each data set measures income in terms of total household income. Total household income is defined as the total incomes of all people over the age of 15 living in a household. A few data sets in Income Upshot deviate from household income, including new car purchases. The marketing firm that collected the data uses total family income instead of household income. Total family income is defined as the total income of all people over the age of 15 related to the householder and living in the household. The same goes for the data sets on kids, god, political ideology, TV, astrology and guns. The General Social Survey, the source of the data for those sets, asks respondents about their total family incomes, not household incomes. 

Every income you enter falls into an income range, and each income range is defined by the source of the data set. For example, the Census Bureau uses income ranges like $10,000 to $14,999 and $15,000 to $19,999 in measuring home ownership by income. The income ranges vary from data set to data set because the sources for the data are not the same. To see the income ranges for each data set in Income Upshot, click on the information button (the little "i" on the share bar) near the bottom of each data visualization. 

The measure of income by Zip code comes from the Census, which replaces some Zip codes with something call a Zip code Tabulation Area (ZCTA). Almost every Zip code is the same as the census-assigned ZCTA. But if a Zip code-defined area is smaller than two square miles, it will be absorbed into an adjacent ZCTA. If the Zip code you try to enter does not work, try entering a neighboring Zip code instead.

We’ll be updating Income Upshot throughout the year and into ...

Nov 5, 2013

Behind the Data: Where you fall in the national picture

Nov 4, 2013
The income gap in the U.S. is growing. How many people make more than you do?

Behind the Data: Belief in God and income

Nov 4, 2013
What's the relationship between your belief in a higher being and how much money your family makes? Check out the data.

Behind the Data: Astrological signs and income

Nov 4, 2013
Are some astrological signs more wealthy than others? Check out the data.

Behind the Data: Political ideology and income

Nov 4, 2013
Is there a relationship between how much money you make and your political ideology? Check out the data.

Behind the Data: Gun ownership and income

Nov 4, 2013
Based on General Social Survey data, we took a look at how gun ownership rates change across the income spectrum.

Behind the Data: TV viewing and income

Nov 4, 2013
Is there a relationship between income levels and the number of hours of TV watched? Take a look at the data.

Walter White's cash: From high school teacher to meth kingpin

Sep 27, 2013
Walter White began making and dealing meth in "Breaking Bad" in order to support his family. A look at how much he was making in comparison to the rest of the country as a high school chemistry teacher and as Heisenberg.
Posted In: Breaking Bad

Income, poverty and a new interactive from Marketplace

Sep 20, 2013
The U.S. Census released a report on the national median income and poverty rate this week. And Marketplace released a data tool on incomes to tell a bigger story about how we live at any income.
Posted In: census, poverty, median income

Is a future for a comfortable middle class just science fiction?

Sep 17, 2013
A practitioner of the dismal science and a writer of dystopian sci-fi have competing takes on the survival of the middle class.
Posted In: median income, middle class

About this collection

A special series from the Marketplace Wealth & Poverty Desk looking at the demographics of the growing income gap. For instance, based on sales data from the last few months of 2012, we know that Toyota is the go-to car brand for people making about the median household income. Similar data exists about commute times, home ownership and all sorts of information.

With Generous Support From...

Sustainability Coverage

  • The Kendeda Fund
  • Wealth & Poverty Coverage

  • The Ford Foundation