Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known by her initials AOC, is an American congresswoman and activist who is as well-loved as she is hated. While people on the left of the political spectrum consider her Wonder Woman, people on the right liken her to the Wicked Witch. But even the haters can’t deny AOC has natural political talent.

As the youngest woman and Latina woman to be elected to Congress, AOC has come a long way since her post-college bartending and waitressing days. However, growing up in a working-class family, where she had to take on several jobs after graduating college to help support her single mother, Alexandria hasn’t forgotten her past. She based her 2018 campaign on economic justice, advocating for tuition-free college, Medicare for all, and a federal jobs guarantee. 

AOC's income, college loan debt, and net worth have been hot topics in the media in recent years. So how much does she make now? In this guide, we'll uncover details about AOC's net worth, her liabilities, and career in Congress.

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AOC’s Net Worth$200,000
Age: 33
Date of Birth:October 13, 1989
Birthplace:The Bronx, New York City, New York
Height:5 ft 4 in (1.65 m)
Source of Wealth:U.S. Representative for New York's 14th Congressional District
Best-Known For: First female member of the Democratic Socialists of America elected to serve in Congress

Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC, is the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District. A relative political outsider, AOC was the youngest female and youngest Latina female to be elected to Congress when she beat out a 10-term incumbent congressmen in 2018. She is also the first female member of the Democratic Socialists of America elected to serve in Congress.

Less than a year before her election, Alexandria was working as a bartender and waitress at a taqueria in New York City. A primary component of her political platform was economic justice. She drew on her own life experience growing up in a working-class family in the Bronx to connect with her constituents. 

Among her political platforms were tuition-free college, a federal jobs guarantee, and Medicare for all, promoting a message of social and racial dignity. Her message resonated with voters, and she went from holding multiple jobs to help support her single mother to winning a hard-fought seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Early Life and Career

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex was born in the Bronx, New York City, NY, on October 13, 1989, to Puerto Rican parents, Sergio Ocasio-Roman, an architect, and Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, a house cleaner and bus driver. Alexandria and her family lived in a Bronx apartment in the Parkchester neighborhood until she was five. Then, they moved to a home in Yorktown Heights so Alexandria and her younger brother, Gabriel, could get a better education. Although the drive to Yorktown from the Bronx was just 40 minutes, it showed Alexandria early on how one's zip code could determine opportunity and destiny.

After graduating from Yorktown High School in 2007, Alexandria enrolled at Boston University. She eventually served as a college intern in immigration issues and foreign affairs for U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, where she got her first taste of the political world. In 2011, AOC graduated cum laude from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and international relations. 

From Bartender to Politician

Alexandria returned to the Bronx after her college graduation and worked as a waitress and bartender to help her mother make ends meet and fight their home’s foreclosure. During this time, she also worked for the National Hispanic Institute and started a now-defunct publishing firm, Brook Avenue Press.

AOC got back into politics during the 2016 primary, working as an organizer for the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders. She drove by car across America, campaigning for Sanders and speaking to people in communities like Flint, Michigan, and Standing Rock Indian Reservation who had been affected by the Flint water crisis and the Dakota Access Pipeline. Alexandria identified these as crucial moments in her young political career. As she witnessed people putting their lives on the line to protect their communities, it inspired her to do the same.

While she was still waiting tables and tending bar in 2017, AOC began her unlikely campaign for Congress. She was an underdog in every way. Alexandria was the first person since 2004 to challenge Joe Crowley, who had held the seat in New York’s 14th district for ten terms and served as the Democratic Caucus Chair. She also had a distinct financial disadvantage. Joe Crowley had big money behind him; AOC did not. 

So she built a grassroots campaign, refused corporate contributions, and received endorsements from civil rights and progressive organizations like Democracy for America and MoveOn.

Saddled with student loan debt and barely getting by financially, AOC forged ahead in her campaign, winning in a stunning defeat against Joe Crowley in the primary election in June 2018. Although Crowley had drastically outspent Alexandria, her aggressive social media presence and appeal to national progressives helped her win, taking 57% of the Democratic primary vote.

What is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's net worth?

According to various sources, AOC’s net worth is an estimated $200,000. 

What is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's job?

Alexandria began serving as the Representative for New York’s 14th Congressional district in January 2019. As a member of Congress, AOC represents her district in Congressional hearings, develops legislation, and votes on legislation before it goes to the President to be signed into law. Representatives also offer legislation amendments and serve on committees. 

How do members of Congress make money?

Although AOC is not extremely wealthy, most members of Congress have a net worth of $1 million or more. The sources of income vary from representative to representative, but here are some of the ways members of Congress make money:


The congressional salary for representatives is $174,000 and has been frozen at this amount since 2009. The Speaker of the House and Minority and Majority Leaders make $223,5000 and $193,400, respectively.


Most members of Congress develop additional income streams through investments and real estate. Most do not draw the bulk of their income through their congressional paycheck

Here’s a glimpse of some of the investments representatives have made to supplement their salary from Congress:

  • Rick W. Allen, R-GA - Merck, Johnson & Johnson
  • Cindy Axne, D-Iowa - Wells Fargo
  • Cheri Bustos, D-ILL - L3Harris Technologies, an aerospace and defense contractor
  • James R. Comer, R-KY - Rite Aid

AOC has chosen not to hold stocks or investments while in Congress because she said she wants to serve as ethically and impartially as possible. 

Government Benefits

Congressional members like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez receive benefits and perks, including:

  • Health and life insurance
  • Emergency medical care from the Office of Attending Physician
  • Private gymnasium
  • Tax benefits
  • Pensions up to 80% of their salaries
  • Health and life insurance
  • Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA) to support office expenses, personnel, and travel to their districts
  • Office space, including furniture, furnishings, and office equipment


What is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's net worth?

While there have been several rumors that AOC is worth as much as $29 million, the USA Today fact-checkers have found this to be false. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s net worth is estimated at $200,000.

How did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accumulate her wealth?

Through most of her 20s, Alexandria “lived paycheck to paycheck,” according to Time. Now she makes approximately $174,000 annually from her Congressional salary. 

What are the disclosure requirements for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's net worth?

AOC and all other members of Congress are required by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to file annual reports disclosing their personal finances. 

How does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's net worth compare to the median net worth of other members of Congress?

Most recent reports show Congress members have a median net worth of $1,008,767, which is the first time in history the majority of Congress members are millionaires. In comparison, AOC’s net worth is only $200,000. The Center for Responsive Politics ranked Alexandria as one of the poorest members of the 116th Congress. 

What investments does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have?

Saying she wanted to do her job as a member of Congress as ethically and impartially as possible, AOC has chosen not to hold stocks or investments. 

How much of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's net worth is tied to her political career?

It’s safe to say nearly all of AOC’s net worth is tied to her political career and Congressional salary of $174,000 annually. She does not currently have any other jobs or investments to create additional streams of income.

What liabilities does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have?

AOC’s primary liabilities lie in her student loan debt. Recent financial disclosures have shown she has between $15,001 and $50,000 in student loan debt

What are some of the misconceptions about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's net worth?

Rumors circulating on social media have suggested AOC’s net worth is $1 million or more, which has proven incorrect. Fact-checkers from USA Today show that, at the most, she has a $200,000 net worth, and due to her student loan debt, she may have a lower net worth. 


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came from humble beginnings and has earned her place among wealthy politicians. Although she does not have an impressive net worth, AOC has developed a reputation as being a strong political force. She is dedicated to fighting for resolutions to the issues her working-class constituents face. 

Through hard work, determination, and passion for racial, social, and economic equity causes, AOC is at a place in her career in which she no longer must work paycheck-to-paycheck to support herself or her mother. And she has positioned herself as a political figure who will likely grow her wealth significantly in the future. 

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