Top 10 Income Sources In America

With so many ways to make money these days, what are the biggest earning sources for Americans? From traditional jobs to income streams like investments and self-employment, here are the top 10 highest-earning sources in the United States:

Top 10 Income Sources In America

1. Wages/Salaries No surprise here

Wages and salaries from traditional employment make up the largest earning source for Americans. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 80% of households receive some form of wage or salary income.

2. Self-Employment Income

Whether running a small business, freelancing, or doing gig work, self-employment income is the second biggest earning source. Around 10% of American workers are self-employed according to the IRS.

3. Interest/Dividends Income

Interest/Dividends Income from interest on savings accounts, bonds, and dividends from stock investments comprise a significant chunk of earnings, especially for retirees living off their investment portfolios.

4. Social Security Benefits

Over 63 million Americans received Social Security benefits in 2022, making it a critical earning source for retirees and the disabled.

5. Capital Gains Profits

Capital Gains Profits from selling assets like stocks, bonds, real estate, and other investments count as capital gains which are taxable forms of income.

6. Rental Income

Renting out real estate like apartment buildings or vacation homes produces rental income for property owners across the country.

7. Pension Income

Pensions Though becoming less common, pension income from defined benefit retirement plans is still a major source for many retired Americans.

8. Annuities Payments

Annuities Payments from annuities that people purchase from insurance companies provide a steady stream of income for some retirees.

9. Royalties Income

Royalties Those who earn royalties from published books, patented inventions, musical recordings, and other intellectual property receive royalty income.

10. Gambling Winnings

Gambling Winnings While not a reliable source of income, gambling winnings from lotteries, casinos, sports betting and other games of chance are still taxable income.

There are many ways to earn income in the modern American economy. While jobs remain the backbone, income from investments, self-employment, and government benefits make up an increasingly large share as well.