off the charts

Exploring Income Inequality, Part 4: More on the Widening of Inequality Since the 1970s

Yesterday’s post in our series showed that average incomes nearly quadrupled between 1979 and 2007 for the top 1 percent of households, while growing much more modestly for households in the middle and bottom of the distribution. Today, we’ll take a closer look at average households at different points in the income distribution, using Congressional Budget Office estimates of average after-tax incomes from 1979 to 2007, adjusted for inflation.  (See our guide for more information on data sources and historical trends.)  Pay attention to the scale of these charts to truly understand the magnitude of the income gap. Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the concentration of income and wealth.