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This is a pretty beginner question. My background is in pure mathematics, and I know statistics and R, but no economics.

It might be a bit much tagging this as a data request question since I'm trying to get a sense of some of the basics.

I'm interested in statistics concerning the highest earning jobs, along with other associated information such as age, gender, and education.

Is there somewhere where economists would usually go to access these kinds of figures...

  1. ...if they were interested in doing serious statistics
  2. ...if they were interested in a quick but scholarly search for an unimportant question.

Right now I'm only curious about figures involving high income, but maybe the answer here involves a good source of data overall -I'd benefit from that as well.

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Is there somewhere where economists would usually go to access these kinds of figures... ...if they were interested in doing serious statistics?

Professional scholars (i.e. with university, NGO research institute or government research unit) typically can get their hands on anonymized payroll/tax data. From tax data you can figure out what income person has. Sometimes researcher will work with some site that records and compares job pay across professions such as salary.com. You will usually be able to get other things such as highest completed education, sometimes gender and age as well. Typically a publication worthy research would use one of the above. Sometimes people also use surveys (e.g. census), but that is falling out of fashion since people sometimes lie (intentionally or unintentionally) so survey data are of less quality.

...if they were interested in a quick but scholarly search for an unimportant question.

Well, the thing is that this is usually not done with micro data. While micro data nowadays are collected quite often so they do exist, they are by their nature very private so there are GDPR and other issues. Such data will not be handed to you the same way as macro data on GDP or unemployment are. You will usually have to go through some bureaucratic hurdles to get anonymized tax or payroll data.

Census micro data are public but not as a whole only sample and I think only for some regions of US, you can explore that here. This is probably your best option if you wanna do some quick stats.

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