State Reports on Median Income for 2019December 2021 Tax News

California’s median income for 2019 was $41,870 based on all state income tax returns filed

Median income represents the point at which half of tax returns show more income, and half show less. The data lags by one year because FTB does its analysis only after all returns are filed by the end of the year, and to include those from taxpayers who received an extension.

California taxpayers filed nearly 19 million 2019 state income tax returns, reporting nearly $1.71 trillion of adjusted gross income. This is an increase of 8.5 percent from the 2018 figure of $1.57 trillion. Adjusted gross income is total income increased or reduced by specific adjustments before taking the standard or itemized deduction.

California’s median income for 2019 was $41,870 based on all state income tax returns filed. This is an increase of 2.1 percent over 2018 median income of $41,023. For joint filers, the median income was $86,623, a 4.1 percent increase over 2018’s $83,221.

Over the past 46 years, the Bay Area counties of Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara have consistently reported the highest median incomes in the state. In 2019, Marin County continued to lead, reporting a median of $178,755 for joint returns - an increase of 5.3 percent over 2018.

Los Angeles County taxpayers filed nearly a quarter (24.5 percent) of all 2019 income tax returns in California. Their reported median incomes of $38,371 for individual returns, and $79,904 for joint returns, rank 30th and 24th respectively.

Top 10 Counties Reporting Highest Joint Tax Return Median Income
Rank County Median Income (Joint Returns)
1 Marin $178,755
2 Santa Clara $164,794
3 San Mateo $159,894
4 San Francisco $140,716
5 Alameda $137,588
6 Contra Costa $122,292
7 Placer $115,231
8 El Dorado $103,696
9 Santa Cruz $102,894
10 Orange $100,491

For more details, go to FTB’s Open Data Portal to view both the interactive California Median Income by County map, and the 2020 Annual Report, Schedule B-6 for Median Income.