Median Incomes v. Average College Tuition Rates, 1971-2012


median incomes v. average college tuition 1971 to 2012

In 1971 the tuition for a public 4-year college was $428 ($2,456 adjusted for inflation) per year. By 2012 tuition had risen to $8,646 ($8,816 adjusted for inflation) per year, a 1,920% (259% for inflation-adjusted numbers) increase. Meanwhile, the median income in 1971 for men was $6,903 ($34,898 adjusted for inflation) and for women was $2,408 ($12,174 adjusted for inflation), making tuition 6.2% of men’s median income and 17.8% of women’s median income per year. In 2012, the median income for men was $33,904 and $21,520 for women, making tuition 26% of men’s median income and 41% of women’s median income per year. In 1994, tuition at 4-year private nonprofit colleges ($11,719 not adjusted for inflation) surpassed the median yearly income for women ($11,466 not adjusted for inflation). In 2012, the average tuition at a 4-year public college ($8,646 not adjusted for inflation) was roughly $20,000 less than that of a private nonprofit 4-year college ($28,989 not adjusted for inflation).
Median Incomes v. Average College Tuition Rates,
Not Adjusted for Inflation, 1971-2012
median incomes v. average college tuition rates not adjusted for inflation, 1971-2012


Median Incomes v. Average College Tuition Rates,
Adjusted for Inflation, 1971-2012
median incomes v. average college tuition rates adjusted for inflation, 1971-2012


Median Incomes v. Average College Tuition Rates,
1971-2012
Not Adjusted for Inflation Adjusted for Inflation
Median Annual Income Average Annual Tuition Median Annual Income Average Annual Tuition
Year Men Women 4 Year Private
Nonprofit Colleges
& Universities
4 Year Public
Colleges &
Universities
Men Women 4 Year Private
Nonprofit Colleges
& Universities
4 Year Public
Colleges &
Universities
1971 $6,903 $2,408 $1,832 $428 $34,898 $12,174 $10,515 $2,456

1972

$7,450 $2,599 $1,948 $503 $36,567 $12,757 $10,860 $2,804
1973 $8,056 $2,796 $2,045 $514 $37,212 $12,915 $10,783 $2,710
1974 $8,452 $3,082 $2,130 $512 $35,492 $12,942 $10,072 $2,421
1975 $8,853 $3,385 $2,291 $542 $34,352 $13,135 $9,874 $2,336
1976 $9,426 $3,576 $2,534 $617 $34,586 $13,121 $10,367 $2,524
1977 $10,123 $3,941 $2,700 $655 $34,938 $13,602 $10,339 $2,508
1978 $10,935 $4,068 $2,958 $688 $35,319 $13,139 $10,517 $2,446
1979 $11,779 $4,352 $3,225 $738 $34,719 $12,828 $10,306 $2,358
1980 $12,530 $4,920 $3,617 $804 $33,242 $13,053 $10,217 $2,271
1981 $13,473 $5,458 $4,113 $909 $32,637 $13,222 $10,489 $2,318
1982 $13,950 $5,887 $4,639 $1,031 $31,870 $13,449 $11,114 $2,470
1983 $14,631 $6,319 $5,093 $1,148 $32,057 $13,845 $11,909 $2,684
1984 $15,600 $6,868 $5,556 $1,228 $32,836 $14,456 $12,467 $2,756
1985 $16,311 $7,217 $6,121 $1,318 $33,193 $14,687 $13,264 $2,856
1986 $17,114 $7,610 $6,658 $1,414 $34,208 $15,211 $14,203 $3,016
1987 $17,786 $8,295 $7,048 $1,485 $34,389 $16,038 $14,467 $3,048
1988 $18,908 $8,884 $8,004 $1,578 $35,264 $16,569 $15,778 $3,111
1989 $19,983 $9,624 $8,663 $1,696 $35,567 $17,207 $16,267 $3,185
1990 $20,293 $10,070 $9,340 $1,908 $34,560 $17,150 $16,731 $3,418
1991 $20,469 $10,476 $9,812 $2,107 $33,653 $17,223 $16,829 $3,614
1992 $20,455 $10,714 $10,448 $2,334 $32,798 $17,179 $17,371 $3,881
1993 $21,102 $11,046 $11,007 $2,535 $33,019 $17,284 $17,806 $4,101
1994 $21,720 $11,466 $11,719 $2,705 $33,276 $17,566 $18,447 $4,258
1995 $22,562 $12,130 $12,216 $2,811 $33,753 $18,147 $18,712 $4,306
1996 $23,834 $12,815 $12,994 $2,975 $34,731 $18,674 $19,333 $4,426
1997 $25,212 $13,703 $13,785 $3,111 $35,962 $19,546 $20,063 $4,528
1998 $26,492 $14,430 $14,709 $3,247 $37,268 $20,300 $21,054 $4,648
1999 $27,293 $15,304 $15,518 $3,362 $37,610 $21,089 $21,745 $4,711
2000 $28,343 $16,079 $16,072 $3,508 $37,791 $21,439 $21,727 $4,742
2001 $29,101 $16,614 $17,377 $3,766 $37,742 $21,547 $22,869 $4,956
2002 $29,238 $16,812 $18,060 $4,098 $37,317 $21,457 $23,424 $5,315
2003 $29,931 $17,259 $18,950 $4,645 $37,367 $21,547 $24,071 $5,900
2004 $30,516 $17,667 $20,045 $5,126 $37,094 $21,476 $24,722 $6,322
2005 $31,516 $18,576 $20,980 $5,492 $36,784 $21,848 $25,081 $6,566
2006 $32,265 $20,014 $22,308 $5,804 $36,744 $22,792 $25,607 $6,662
2007 $33,196 $20,922 $23,420 $6,191 $36,761 $22,169 $26,264 $6,943
2008 $33.161 $20,867 $20,818 $6,599 $35,363 $22,253 $26,356 $7,008
2009 $32,184 $20,957 $25,739 $7,073 $34,452 $22,434 $27,920 $7,672
2010 $32,205 $20,775 $26,766 $7,629 $33,915 $21,878 $28,679 $8,174
2011 $32,986 $21,102 $27,883 $8,276 $33,675 $21,543 $28,830 $8,557
2012 $33,904 $21,520 $28,989 $8,646 $33,904 $21,520 $29,557 $8,816
Year Men Women 4 Year Private
Nonprofit Colleges
& Universities
4 Year Public
Colleges &
Universities
Men Women 4 Year Private
Nonprofit Colleges
& Universities
4 Year Public
Colleges &
Universities
Median Annual Income Average Annual Tuition Median Annual Income Average Annual Tuition
Not Adjusted for Inflation Adjusted for Inflation

Sources:

College Board, "Tuition and Fee and Room and Board Charges over Time," www.collegeboard.org (accessed Feb. 4, 2014)
US Census Bureau, "Regions of People by Median Income and Sex: 1953 to 2012," www.census.gov (accessed Feb. 4, 2014)