23 Mind-Blowing Facts About Income Inequality In America

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Once again the rich are getting richer as the poor get poorer in America.Although rich people took a hit in the financial crisis, the stock market has recovered strongly.

Main Street has not: Median household income has fallen 10% since the beginning of the recession and unemployment has increased by nearly 5 percentage points.

Populist movements among Democrats and Republicans have finally put this issue in the spotlight. If you haven’t seen these charts, then prepare to have your mind blown.

The share of national income going to the top 1% has doubled since 1979. This chart really says it all.

The top 1% of Americans takes home over 20% of the income -- more than any time since the Roaring Twenties

This chart shows average income of the top 1% as a multiple of average income of the bottom 90%.

Click here for bigger chart >

The top 0.01% -- the super elite -- claim a greater share of the income than any time on record

The median household income has dropped over 10% since March of 2009. (During the same period the S&P500 is up over 80%.)

Half of America owns 2.5% of country's wealth. The top 1% owns a third of it.

Half of America owns only 0.5% of America's investment assets. The top 1% owns more than 50%!

But guess what the bottom 90% do have: 73% of the debt

Despite the myth of social mobility, poor Americans have a slim chance of rising to the upper middle class

And then there are taxes... It's a great time to be rich in America because taxes on the highest earners are close to the lowest they've ever been

Taxes for the middle quintile have stayed flat, even as tax rates plunge for the richest Americans

Now let's look at wages... While productivity has increased, inflation-adjusted wages have been flat for 50 years

Top CEOs earn around 1,723 times as much as the average worker. It was not always like this

While CEOs and shareholders have been cashing in, wages as a per cent of the economy have dropped to an all-time low

America redistributes its wealth FAR LESS than other developed countries (via government transfers)

America's income spread is nearly twice the OECD average

The top 0.1% in America are doing way better than the top 0.1% in other first-world countries

In fact, America has the highest income inequality of any country in the developed world

America's inequality rating has ticked higher in recent decades (0 = perfect equality; 1 = perfect inequality)

There's also a generation gap... The median net worth of people under 35 has dropped 68% since 1984, while seniors have gotten 42% richer

We won't even get into racial inequality, except to note that the average white America is worth 15 times as much as the average black American

So who are the 1 per cent? Executives, doctors, bankers, lawyers, etc.

Income inequality is highest -- no surprise -- around Wall Street. It is also high in the oil-rich Gulf states

Some cities are suffering more than others

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