Income inequality is a national concern. The income gap between the top-earning 1 percent and the rest of Americans has increased in every state since the 1970s, a new report shows.
But income inequality also affects some parts of the nation a lot more than others, according to a state- and local-level analysis released by the Economic Policy Institute today.
In nine states, for example, the gap between the top 1 percent and the other 99 percent was wider than the national average, according to the report.
The nine states that had the widest gaps as of 2013 were:
- New York
- New Jersey
New York has the widest gap, with the top 1 percent earning 45.4 times the average annual income of those in the 99 percent. In other words, the average income of the top 1 percent was $2,006,632, while the average earned by the 99 percent was $44,163.
The report attributes New York’s income inequality partly to “the relative concentration of the financial sector in the greater New York City metropolitan area.”
Co-author Estelle Sommeiller, a socio-economist at the Institute for Research in Economic and Social Sciences in France, primarily attributes income gaps to broader causes:
“The degree of income inequality differs from one city to another, but the underlying forces are clear. Inequality isn’t a regional issue. It’s the result of intentional policy decisions to shift bargaining power away from working people and towards the top 1 percent.”
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