Special Report

The States Where the Rich Are Getting Richer

7. Michigan
> Income growth, top 1% 2009-2012: 47.3%
> Income growth, bottom 99% 2009-2012: 1.8% (24th lowest)
> Avg. income top 1%: $942,993 (24th lowest)
> Avg. income bottom 99%: $37,324 (11th lowest)

The average total income of Michigan’s top 1% was $942,993 in 2012, middle of the pack compared with other states. However, because the income of the lowest 99% in the state was just $37,324 in 2012, the income gap was still one of the largest — the top 1% earned 25.3 times what the bottom 99% did. Only 24.3% of the income growth between 2009 and 2012 in the state was provided by dividends, a relatively low share compared to other states. With a reviving manufacturing sector — particularly the auto industry — Michigan had one of the top 10 salaries and wage growth rates from 2009 to 2013. Within the top 1%, the top 0.01% of earners in the Great Lakes State had an average income of $23,501,671, which was in the middle of the pack among all 50 states but almost 25 times the average income of the top 1% in 2012.

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6. Nebraska
> Income growth, top 1% 2009-2012: 47.7%
> Income growth, bottom 99% 2009-2012: 2.4% (21st highest)
> Avg. income top 1%: $1,106,763 (20th highest)
> Avg. income bottom 99%: $51,654 (10th highest)

The annual average income of Nebraska’s top 1% grew by 47.7% from 2009 to $1.1 million in 2012, 20th highest in the country. Still, the top 1% captured 74.9% of all income growth in the state during 2009-2012. At the same time, the average income of the bottom 99% increased 2.4% to $51,654 in 2012, the 10th highest average income in the nation for that group. The average income among top earners in Nebraska was 21.4 times the income of the bottom 99%, the 21st smallest gap in the country. Wages for all Nebraskans grew by less than 10% from 2009 to 2013, one of the weaker wage growth rates in the nation.

5. Colorado
> Income growth, top 1% 2009-2012: 48.4%
> Income growth, bottom 99% 2009-2012: -1.0% (17th lowest)
> Avg. income top 1%: $1,347,381 (12th highest)
> Avg. income bottom 99%: $50,367 (12th highest)

Like most of the 10 states where the rich are getting richer, Colorado is one of the better educated states in the nation. Nearly 38% of its residents held a bachelor’s degrees or higher in 2013, higher than in every state except for Massachusetts. The state’s top 1% of earners had the fifth largest income growth from 2009 to 2012. The income growth of the top-earning Coloradans represented 112.6% of all income growth in the state during the period, one of the highest figures. Meanwhile, income of the bottom 99% fell 1%. As the wealthiest Americans tend to rely more heavily on unearned income, dividend growth in Colorado may account in part for the disparate income growth. Dividends paid to Colorado residents grew by 29.9% from 2009 through 2012, 11th highest in the country.