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Income inequality in the United States

Income inequality in the United States has increased significantly since the 1970s after several decades of stability, meaning the share of the nation's income received by higher income households has increased. This trend is evident with income measured both before taxes (market income) as well as after taxes and transfer payments. Income inequality has fluctuated considerably since measurements began around 1915, moving in an arc between peaks in the 1920s and 2000s, with a 30-year period of relatively lower inequality between 1950–1980.

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The Wealth Gap In The United States

This very simple and yet profound graphic breaks down income inequality in the United States into 3 graphs. The first graph is the actual distribution of wealth where the richest 20% hold over 80% of the nation's collective wealth. The second graph is what Americans think the actual distribution, which illustrates that the richest 20% have just under 60% of the nation's collective wealth. And the third and last graph is what Americans would like the wealth distribution to be, where the bottom 80% hold over 60% of the wealth. The uplifting message from this graph is the fact that the authors of this study were able to conclude that no matter one's income level, Americans on average wanted a more equal distribution of wealth.

Contributed by Tony Hart

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