The United States is enjoying an era of unprecedented wealth and prosperity. Economic output and household incomes are at all-time highs, while unemployment is at its lowest level in well over a decade. However, the growth has not benefited all Americans equally, and in much of the country, wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few.
From the end of World War II through the early 1970s, the average income growth of the bottom ninety-nine percent of earners roughly tripled the 34% growth rate among the wealthiest one percent.
Since, however, the strengthening of the middle class has ground nearly to a halt, while the wealth of the one percent has grown exponentially.
The average income for the top one percent spiked by 216.4% from 1973 to 2007, but it increased by just 15.4% for all other earners. From 2009 to 2015, the average income for the wealthiest Americans grew by 33.9%, more than triple the income growth of 10.3% among the remaining ninety-nine percent.
Today, more so than in the decades immediately following World War II, being among the top earners not only helps ensure a comfortable life, but also greatly increases earning potential and the ability to amass a fortune.
Any family earning at least $422,000 a year ranks among the top one percent of earners nationwide. However, as income levels vary by state so too does the amount it takes to be a one-percenter.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit nonpartisan think tank, to identify the minimum income threshold of the top one percent of earners in each state.