The Average American Will Pay $525,000 in Taxes Over Their Lifetime: Study

The average American will pay $525,037 in taxes over their lifetime, according to a new study by financial technology company Self.

The report says that represents an average of 34.3% of lifetime earnings. Nearly two-thirds of the total, or roughly $340,000, comes from taxes on earnings, with the rest made up of sales, property and car taxes.

The lifetime total varies greatly by state. Residents of New Jersey will pay an average of $931,698, the highest total and greatest percentage of estimated lifetime earnings, 49.51%. (You can see the rest of the top 10 in the Bloomberg chart below.) Residents of West Virginia are projected to pay the least in total taxes ($321,000), while residents of Alabama will pay the smallest percentage of their earnings (24.48%).

The study used data from the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and divided household spending by two to estimate spending per person. It then applied state and federal tax rates to those spending and earnings estimates based on a worklife of 36 years and an average life expectancy of 79 years.

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