Richest Americans Got Richer in Past Decade, Far Outpacing Poor

© Reuters.

(Bloomberg) — Over the past decade, during an economic expansion that benefited most Americans, the richest made out the best.

The top 5% of households — those making $451,122 on average last year — have seen their inflation-adjusted incomes jump 28% since 2009, according to annual figures published by the Census Bureau on Tuesday.

The gain — which helped push inequality to the widest in decades — compares with a mere 11% rise for the bottom 20%, whose income rose to about $15,290 from roughly $13,800 a decade ago. Those in the middle groups — who made between $40,600 and $111,100 last year — saw their incomes rise between 16% to 18%, the data show.

The report underscores just how endemic poverty is in America, even in times of economic expansion. While incomes have increased, so has the cost of living, with consumer prices rising 20% since 2009.

Read more: U.S. Incomes Surged, Poverty Fell to 60-Year Low Before Virus

The latest figures showed the fortunes of lower-income Americans were improving just before the pandemic struck. In 2019 the bottom 20% saw income grow 9% from the previous year, the fastest annual gain among all the groups. But their average income was still less than half of households in the next group.

Census officials attributed the broader gain in household income, among the best ever recorded, to increased employment and wages — for example, unemployed people in households who got jobs. The data also showed that the highest-paid Americans reaped the majority of the income gains.

READ  BoE reform needed to boost firepower for downturns, think tank says

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here