The income gap between the rich and the poor is larger in the U.S. than in most other industrialized countries.  Last year we posted data about the percent of total U.S. income that went to the top 1% of earners (23% as of 2006).

The graph below, recently updated to 2007, shows the percent of total U.S. income that went to the top 0.01%, that is 1/100th of one percent, of earners:


As you can see, in 2007,  the top 1/100th of 1% of earners in the U.S. brings home 6% of the total income earned in the U.S.  This represents the largest proportion of total income since at least 1913, and is the endpoint in a trajectory of rising inequality that began in the early 1980s.

Also see our posts breaking down CEO compensation, on the disproportionate tax burden by social class, and on class inequality across U.S. states.

Data borrowed from economist Emmanuel Saez, via Matthew Yglesias.


Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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