Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, March Supplement (IPUMS); U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index.
Notes: Annual wages are expressed in constant 2020 dollars. Recent college graduates are those aged 22 to 27 with a bachelor's degree only; high school graduates are those aged 22 to 27 with a high school diploma only. Figures are for full-time workers and exclude those currently enrolled in school. Note that some portion of the earnings gap could reflect differences in aptitude between graduates and non-graduates. Vertical shaded areas indicate periods designated recessions by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Data are updated annually at the beginning of each calendar year.
Click on the labels in the chart legend to show and hide trend lines in the display.