A report in Forbes says the perception that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer and the middle class is disappearing — a view that has been a cornerstone of the Bernie Sanders presidential bid — is essentially accurate.
“In the years following the financial crisis, the top 1% of Americans pocketed 85% of total income growth, according to a study released on Thursday from the Economic Policy Institute,” Forbes reports. “As of 2013, the average family income of the top 1% was 25 times the average income for the other 99%.”
The report also puts perspective on what it takes to be a part of the top 1%. “On a national basis, in 2013 you needed a minimum household income of $389,436 to join the club,” Forbes notes. “But the threshold is a lot higher in certain East Coast locales, such as Connecticut ($659,979), Washington, D.C. ($554,719) and New Jersey ($547,737).”
Wide variations are noted by state. “In New York, Connecticut and Wyoming, for example, the top 1% has an average income that is more than 40 times the average incomes of the other 99% in those states,” Forbes reports. “The numbers are more sane in certain parts of the country. For instance, the state where it’s easiest to join the 1% club is New Mexico, where a household income of $231,276 is sufficient.”