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Most Americans Earn Less Than $30,000

If you make more than $30,000 per year, you are better off than more than half of American wage earners, according to the Social Security Administration. Meanwhile, highlighting a massive gap between most Americans and those that hold most of the nation’s wealth, just 894 people made more than $20 million last year and make more than 99.99989 percent of Americans.

The income analysis, released by the Social Security Administration on Tuesday, broke down the country’s 153.6 million “wage-earners” by annual salary. In a stark reminder of growing poverty around the country, the analysis showed that 24.4 percent of workers (37 million people) make $10,000 or less per year. If you make $15,000, the average annual salary of a full-time minimum wage employee, you make more than 32.2 percent of workers. If you make $30,000 per year, you make more than 53.2 percent of American wage-earners.

The numbers quickly get more drastic above that figure. Americans earning more than $50,000 earn more than 73.4 percent of the country and workers pulling in $100,000 per year earn more than 92.6 percent of workers. The top 1 percent of wage earners make $250,000 or more.

The falling incomes have led to skyrocketing debt. The average American household is now nearly $19,000 in debt. The average credit card holder is more than $5,000 in debt. Debt isn’t just something for students or young people struggling to make ends meet. Especially since they can’t get large credit lines. Americans between 30 and 39 have an average debt of more than $15,000 while Americans between 40 and 59 have an average debt around $20,000.

Of course, that debt doesn’t just pile up, it grows. The average American pays an APR between 14-15 percent while those with bad credit pay an average APR around 25 percent. This creates a never-ending circle of falling deeper into debt because you don’t earn enough and creating more expenses because of that debt. Sometimes, twice as much. A $2,000 purchase at 14 percent interest can quickly grow to more than $3,800 if you pay the 1 percent minimum payment each month. If you buy a home at the average price of $177,000 with an average interest rate of 4.375 percent, you will have paid nearly $318,000 for that home by the end of your 30-year mortgage, often forcing people to take on even more debt.

About the author

Igor Derysh is the Editor-at-Large at XN Sports, Politics Editor at Reasontopia, and a freelance contributor at Issue Hawk.