Pulling
Apart:

A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends

**NEW
YORK**

Inequality has been increasing in New York for nearly two decades. This can be observed by ranking all New York families with children according to their income level, dividing them into five groups (or fifths) of equal size, and calculating the average income of each fifth of families. This analysis shows by the mid-1990s:

- The richest 20 percent of families with children had average incomes 20 times as large as the poorest 20 percent of families.

- The richest 20 percent of families with children had average incomes 3.4 times as large as the middle 20 percent of families.

**The Long-Term Trend**

Since the late 1970s, income inequality has increased in New York. The long-term economic growth of the past two decades was not shared evenly among the poor, the rich, and the middle class. Instead, the top fifth of families with children fared substantially better than other income groups.

The gap between the top fifth of families and the bottom fifth of families grew by 127 percent since the 1970s. The gap between the rich and poor increased faster than in all but one state. The gap between the rich and the middle class increased faster than in any other state.

- The average income of the poorest fifth of families fell by $3,800 between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, from $10,590 to $6,790.

- The average income of the middle fifth of families fell by $1,470 between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, from $40,720 to $39,260.

- The average income of the richest fifth of families increased by $41,580 between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, from $90,810 to $132,390.

**The Recent Trend**

Over the past decade, income inequality increased in New York. While the average incomes of the richest fifth of families with children have increased since the mid-1980s, the average incomes of the poor and middle class families have decreased.

The gap between the top fifth of families and the bottom fifth of families increased between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s faster than in all but two states. The gap between the rich and the middle class also increased faster than in all but two states.

- The average income of the poorest fifth of families decreased by $1,700 between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, from $8,480 to $6,790.

- The average income of the middle fifth of families decreased by $1,240 between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, from $40,960 to $39,260.

- The average income of the richest fifth of families increased by $24,720 between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, from $107,670 to $132,390.