Income Inequality Widens in All 50 States

Photo (cc) by mSeattle

Average real income in the U.S. grew by more than a third between 1979 and 2007. That’s great news for Americans, right?

Unfortunately, no. Not all Americans, anyway.

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute shows that all 50 states have experienced lopsided income growth in recent decades. In fact, between 1979 and 2007, the top 1 percent of U.S. taxpayers took home nearly 54 percent of the total increase in income.

To put it another way, while the bottom 99 percent of earners experienced an 18.9 percent average growth in income, the income of the top 1 percent grew more than 10 times that much – a whopping 200.5 percent increase.

Here are some other key findings from the report:

  • Between 1979 and 2007, the average income increased only for the top 1 percent in Alaska, Nevada, Michigan and Wyoming. The income of the bottom 99 percent actually dropped. In 15 other states, the top 1 percent captured 50 to 84 percent of all income growth.
  • Incomes at all levels dropped during the Great Recession, but income inequality soared as the economy stabilized in 2009. “Only the top 1 percent gained as the economy recovered,” the report said.
  • In 2011, New York and Connecticut had the biggest income gaps between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent. The top earners in both states make 40 times the average income of the bottom 99 percent.

The report says the financial sector helps to fuel rising income inequality. Four of the 10 states with the steepest rise in incomes among the 1 percent between 1979 and 2007 had big financial sectors, including New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Illinois.

However, in an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Mark Price, co-author of the study and a labor economist at the Keystone Research Center, said that income inequality is pervasive across the country.

“It’s not just a story of the financial markets in New York City,” Price said. “Over time, that [top] group in each state is accruing an increasingly larger share of the growth in income.”

24/7 Wall St. used the EPI report to help determine the 10 states where income inequality has increased the most. Here are the top five:

  1. Alaska
  2. Nevada
  3. Wyoming
  4. Michigan
  5. Arizona

We’ve all heard the saying: The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

How are the top 1 percent doing in your state, compared with the 99 percent? Click here to find out, then share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
15 Purchases That Make Life Easier As You Age
15 Purchases That Make Life Easier As You Age

There are many products that can make getting older — or any time of life — a little easier.

15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5
15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5

These products offer big value at a small price.

How to Prepare Your Finances for Retirement in 7 Steps
How to Prepare Your Finances for Retirement in 7 Steps

Here is how to get your finances in shape for your golden years, one step at a time.

15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales
15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales

You can save a ton of money — especially if you spot any of these items.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

These 10 Postal Price Hikes Start Next Week
These 10 Postal Price Hikes Start Next Week

Starting on Jan. 24, the price of various mail and shipping services will rise.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them
5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them

State personal income tax rates, brackets and deductions just changed in these places.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.