Click to Enlarge
On average, taxes take a larger percentage of the incomes of people with higher earnings, so the after-tax earnings premium is somewhat smaller than the pretax earnings premium.
In 2015, median earnings of bachelor’s degree recipients age 25 and older with no advanced degree working full time were $24,600 (67%) higher than those of high school graduates. Bachelor’s degree recipients paid an estimated $6,900 (91%) more in taxes and took home $17,700 (61%) more in after-tax income than high school graduates.
In 2015, those with professional degrees paid an average of 99% more in taxes than those with bachelor’s degrees; earnings differences were 81% before taxes and 75% after taxes.