(Not) spreading the wealth
The income gap between the wealthy and the rest of the country has grown along with dramatic increases in CEO pay.
- Income shares
- The top 0.1%
- CEO pay
- Other countries
Growing share of income for the rich
Inequality in the U.S. has has grown steadily since the 1970s, following a flat period after World War II. In 2008, the wealthiest 10 percent earned almost the same amount of income as the rest of the country combined.
The top 0.1 percent of the population (those making about $1.7 million or more) saw the sharpest increase in income share, taking home 2.6% of the nation’s earnings in 1975 and 10.4% in 2008.
|INCOME LEVEL||NUMBER OF PEOPLE||AVERAGE INCOME||OVERALL CHANGE 1970-2008|
|Top 0.1%||152,000||$5.6 million||+385%|
|Top 1-5%||6.0 million||$211,476||+59%|
|Top 5-10%||7.6 million||$127,184||+38%|
|Bottom 90%||137.2 million||$31,244||-1%|
Who makes up the top 0.1%?
TOTAL CHANGE SINCE 1970
SHARE OF NATION'S INCOME
EARNED BY THE TOP 0.1%
*Based on the salary, bonuses and stock options of the three highest-paid officers in the largest 50 firms. ** Calculated from Bureau of Economic Analysis data. NOTE: All figures have been adjusted for inflation.
SOURCES: The World Top Incomes Database and reports by Jon Bakija, Williams College; Adam Cole, U.S. Department of Treasury; Bradley T. Heim, Indiana University; Carola Frydman, MIT Sloan School of Management and NBER; Raven E. Molloy, Federal Reserve Board of Governors; Thomas Piketty, Ehess, Paris; Emmanuel Saez, UC Berkeley and NBER. GRAPHIC: Alicia Parlapiano - The Washington Post. Published June 18, 2011.