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In 2011, according to the Congressional Budget Offices (CBO’s) estimates, average household market income— a comprehensive income measure that consists of labor income, business income, capital income (including capital gains), and retirement income—was approximately $81,000. Government transfers, which include benefits from programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance, averaged approximately $13,000 per household. The sum of those two amounts, which equals before-tax income, was about $94,000, on average. Federal taxes as examined in this report comprise four separate sources: individual income taxes, payroll (or social insurance) taxes, corporate income taxes, and excise taxes. Taken together, those taxes were about $17,000 per household, on average, in 2011. Thus, average household income after taxes was about $77,000, and the average federal tax rate (federal taxes divided by before-tax income) was 17.6 percent.


Suggested Citation
Congressional Budget Office. (2014). The distribution of household income and federal taxes, 2011. Washington, DC: Author.