BEYOND THE NUMBERS
The gaps between the richest and poorest families have grown in every state since the late 1970s, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute shows. The top 1 percent’s share of income is close to its 1928 peak (see chart).
The report’s alarming findings include:
- In 2013, the average income of the top 1 percent of families nationally was $1.2 million — more than 25 times the average income of the bottom 99 percent.
- The lion’s share of income growth since the late 1970s has gone to the richest households.
- The top 1 percent’s share of income rose in every state and the District of Columbia — and it doubled nationally, from 10 percent to 20 percent — between 1979 and 2013.
- Since 2007, due to the Great Recession, family income at all levels has fallen and income gaps narrowed somewhat. On the other hand, the richest families have benefitted most from the economic recovery. In 24 states, the top 1 percent captured at least half of all income growth between 2009 — the year the recession officially ended — and 2013.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some steps that states can take to push back against this extreme income inequality.