The Increasingly Unequal States of America
Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012
by Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price, Economic Policy Institute, January 26, 2015 (excerpts)
Economic inequality is, at long last, commanding attention from policymakers, the media, and everyday citizens. There is growing recognition that we need an inclusive economy that works for everyone—not just for those at the top.
While there are plentiful data examining the fortunes of the top 1 percent at the national level, this report uses the latest available data to examine how the top 1 percent in each state have fared over 1917–2012, with an emphasis on trends over 1928–2012 (data for additional percentiles spanning 1917–2012 are available at go.epi.org/topincomes1917to2012). In so doing, this analysis finds that all 50 states have experienced widening income inequality in recent decades.
How are the top 1% doing in your state?
Income trends have varied from state to state, but a pattern is apparent: the rapid growth of the top 1%. Drill down to individual states and regions in this interactive feature.
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On average, income in Hawaii grew 12.4% between 1979 and 2007.
Good thing for everybody, right? Not quite. The top 1% snared a disproportionate share of that growth—70.9%. So their massive income growth far eclipsed income growth of the bottom 99%, whose raise was meager when you divide it over three decades.
And unfortunately the Great Recession was no great leveler: Recovery for the bottom 99% has been weak relative to the gains of the top 1%.
Thus, the lopsided income growth from 1979 to 2007 extended through 2012.
Due to this extended period of lopsided income growth, the share of all income held by the top 1% is on a three-decade upswing.
The upshot of these trends? A lopsided Hawaii economy, where top 1% average income is 15 times greater than the average income of the bottom 99%.
Detailed Data: Hawaii vs. region/U.S.
Read the report--The Increasingly Unequal States of America