You are now entering the Jewish Currents archive.
Income Share of the Top 1 Percent: 1917 to 2015Source: The World Top Incomes Database Average real income (including capital gains) for the bottom 90 percent of families was 4 percent lower in 2015 than it was in 1979; just $34,074, which is only $10,000 greater than the poverty level for a family of four with two children under the age of 18 in 2015. In contrast, real income for the top 1 percent has grown by a whopping 183 percent since 1979, and for the top 0.1 percent by an even greater 305 percent.
Percent Change in Real Income since 1979 by Income GroupsSource: The World Top Incomes Database
Since 1979, as the income of the rich increased, the divide between the top and the bottom grew immensely. In 1979, the average income of the top 0.1 percent was 47 times greater than the average income of the bottom 90 percent. By 2015 the ratio was closing in on 200 times, more than four times the 1979 ratio. Similarly, the divergence between the top 1 percent and the bottom 90 percent has grown from 14 to 1 in 1979 to 40 to 1 in 2015, almost three times.