Financial Education

Capital income vs. household income!

Do you know the difference between capital income and household income? If not, you can read our post to learn about it!


by Victória Lourenço

Published on 11/23/2022

Differences between capital income and household income!

Learn the difference between household income and capital income. Source: Freepik.
Learn the difference between household income and capital income. Source: Freepik.

Do you ever wonder why your paycheck seems so small compared to the rich people on TV? It’s probably because your per capita income is much lower than theirs! But what are capital income and household income?

Moreover, most people use these terms interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings.

The three types of income: learn more about them!

Know how you can ake more money without working any harder just by understanding the three types of income. Do you want to see how?

This way, per capita income, measures the amount of money that each person in a country or state makes.

On the other hand, household income measures the total amount of money that everyone in a household makes.

And how is capital income different from household income? Don’t worry! We’re here to explain it all. Keep reading to learn more about these important economic concepts!


Capital income

Your income per capita will impact your household income. Source: Freepik.
Your income per capita will impact your household income. Source: Freepik.

You can calculate the average income in an area by using the phrase “income per capita.”

It is used to measure the relative cost of living in a given area (such as a city, state, or country) and to evaluate an individual’s earning potential.

Moreover, per capita income is the annual income divided by the population of a region. However, it isn’t always clear when this is happening.

This way, a small number of extremely wealthy people in a given area can skew the average, leading the general populace to believe they are better off than they are.

In other words, it’s the money a person makes from owning capital assets, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.

And that’s why capital income is different from household income. Household income is the total amount of money all household members earn.

Pros and cons

Capital income can be a great source of wealth for individuals and families.

Moreover, capital income can provide a stable stream of revenue. And people can use this to pay for housing, food, and healthcare expenses.

In addition, capital income can be passed down from generation to generation, providing a financial cushion for future generations.

However, the capital income also has some drawbacks. For one thing, it can be quite volatile, meaning it can go up or down in value quickly and without warning.

In addition, capital income is often taxed at a higher rate than regular income. This can result in less money for retirement savings and college tuition.

Finally, capital income can be difficult to access, especially if the investor doesn’t have enough money to buy stocks or bonds outright.

Despite these drawbacks, capital income remains a powerful tool for building wealth and providing financial security for families.

Therefore, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of capital income to make informed decisions about how to use it.

Household income

Combine the income of your family members to find your household income. Source: Freepik.
Combine the income of your family members to find your household income. Source: Freepik.

The term “household income” refers to the combined gross income of all adults residing in a given dwelling.

That’s right! A family’s income is the whole amount all sources receive before considering any deductions or taxes.

This is not the same as net income, which is the money left over after you deduct all expenses. Moreover, capital income can also be viewed as household income.

And as we mentioned, household income is the sum of all financial resources available to a family, as opposed to its members’ individual earnings.

Moreover, the most notable advantage of this strategy is that it more precisely depicts the family’s financial standing. It has the additional benefit of helping smooth over occasional earnings dips.

However, one drawback of focusing on total household income is that it may be trickier to determine how much money each family member brings in.

Sometimes, this can make it harder to stick to a budget or develop long-term plans.

Capital income vs. household income: See the main differences

Earnings from capital investments, such as stocks and bonds, are a significant source of income for most families.

Moreover, total capital incomes earned by all household members constitute that household’s total income.

This way, household income is helpful because it gives people a cushion to fall back on when things go tough.

For instance, if a breadwinner in the family loses his or her work, the rest of the family might get by on money from other sources.

In addition, while household income has many benefits, it also has some negatives. A family’s capital income can fluctuate due to gains and losses in the stock market.

Furthermore, you can find stress or conflict when you don’t equally distribute household income among household members.

Income from investments can be a useful resource for many people, but it’s vital to be aware of the risks involved.

How to calculate household income?

The first step is to tally up all the income that the adults in your household are responsible for.

All members of the household, including those who are not related by blood, should contribute to the household budget.

It’s important to keep track of not just your salary from a 9-to-5 job but also any side gigs, tips, or rent you receive.

This way, ensure you’re talking about “gross income” or what you bring in before any deductions for taxes.

A home’s annual income is its occupants’ total annual income. To get an accurate picture of your yearly earnings, you may need to multiply your monthly gross income by 12.

Exempt interest, Social Security payments, and foreign earnings are examples of income types not subject to U.S. federal income tax.

How to calculate capital income?

Per capita income is a useful indicator of economic health because it reflects the standard of living in a region by calculating the average annual income of its residents.

The formula for calculating per capita income depends on two variables: the total population and the total income of all individuals.

First, we divide the total regional income by dividing it by the total regional population.

Now that you know the difference between capital income and household income, you can make better choices and stay informed about this type of term!

Because when you know more about income and economic terms, you can find ways to improve your knowledge about finances and improve your own!

Recommendation: Learn how the new generations are saving for retirement

Whenever we’re talking about income, we should think about retirement. That’s because your income is usually lower when you hit older age, and most people have extra expenses.

How people used to save for retirement is very different from the new generations. Let’s see what we can learn with Gen Z about savings and investments.

how gen z is investing

How is Gen Z investing for retirement?

You must have wondered: How is Gen Z investing for retirement? Well, we can help you understand this and learn more about investing for retirement. So, read on!

About the author

Victória Lourenço

Victória Lourenço is part of the finance writer team for The Mister Finance website. She is a translator and copywriter, having worked on finance topics for over four years. She has a goal to keep studying finances to help people learn more about how to use their credit cards, make loans, and use other money-related products in a way that they can find a more meaningful and healthy financial life!

Reviewed by

Aline Barbosa

Senior Editor

Trending Topics


Blaze Mastercard® Credit Card review

The Blaze Mastercard® Credit Card is a great tool to help you improve your score and restore your purchasing power! Read our full review.

Keep Reading

RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business credit card full review

Check out this RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business credit card review article to learn how you can start earning rewards right away!

Keep Reading

How to apply for the My Best Buy® Visa® Credit Card?

Are you looking for a card to earn cash back while purchasing at Best Buy? Read to learn how to apply for the My Best Buy® Visa® Credit Card!

Keep Reading

You may also like


Learn to apply easily for Upgrade Personal Loan

Do you need personal loans for an emergency? If so, you can read on to learn how to apply for Upgrade Personal Loan and get up to $50,000!

Keep Reading

Three Arrows Capital defaulted a $670 million loan to Voyager Digital

Learn about the impact of Three Arrows Capital's default on Voyager Digital and what it could mean for the future of the entire cryptocurrency market.

Keep Reading

How to buy cheap Spirit Airlines flights

If you want to buy cheap Spirit Airlines flights, we've got you covered. Check out our tips on getting the best airfare deals! Keep reading!

Keep Reading