From the New York Times – Economix column – The US Tax Policy Centre has updated its figures on the income distribution in America, which showed why most rich people don’t feel very rich. They have now crunched income levels for every single percentile, and the numbers refer to 2011 rather than 2010.
Incomes grow much, much faster at the top end of the income distribution than in the middle or at the bottom end. That is, the disparity in income between one percentile and a consecutive percentile is bigger among the very rich. In fact much of the rise in inequality over the last few decades has been because of the increasing inequality isolated among the very top members of the income distribution, as America’s wealthiest have pulled further and further away from their slightly less wealthy peers – see data and graph below.
50th and 51st percentile is $42,327 versus $43,564 = $1,237
98th and 99th percentile is $360,435 versus $506,553 = $146,118
99.5th and 99.9th percentile is $815,868 versus 2,075,574 = $1,259,706