80% of Americans own just 7% of the country's wealth

Nyc skylineSpencer Platt/GettyNew York City, home of some of the wealthiest people in the US.

It turns out that Americansseverely underestimate the gap between the rich and the rest of the population.

In a 2011 study, Harvard business professor Mike Norton and economist Dan Ariely asked over 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth was distributed in the US, and what the ideal distribution looks like.

Most participants were far from understanding the extent of income inequality, which is not surprising considering the incomprehensibly wide wealth gap that exists.

To bring the study’s findings to life, YouTube user politizane created a video that presents the data in several eye-opening graphics.

Here is one of the more shocking charts, which reveals that the bottom 80% of Americans have just 7% of the nation’s wealth:

Screen Shot 2015 06 15 at 11.28.56 AM


What’s more, the top 1% own 40% of the country’s wealth:

Screen Shot 2015 06 15 at 11.28.14 AM


These stats surprised the majority of the participants. Here’s a chart that shows what they thought the distribution of wealth was, what 92% of them chose as the ideal distribution, and what the actual distribution looks like:

Check out the full video and more revealing statistics:

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