Facing South

INSTITUTE INDEX: U.S. income inequality greatest in the South

Percent by which after-tax income grew for the wealthiest 1 percent of U.S. households between 1979 and 2007: 275

For the next wealthiest 19 percent: 65

For the next 60 percent: 40

For the bottom 20 percent: 18

Number of times by which the income of the wealthiest 1 percent of U.S. households exceeded that of the bottom 90 percent in 1979: 14

In 2007: 42

Percent of income that went to the most affluent fifth of the U.S. population in 1979: 43

In 2007: 53

Percent of income that went to the poorest fifth of the U.S. population in 1979: 7

In 2007: 5

Percent of government transfers -- cash payments to individuals -- that went to households at the bottom fifth of the income scale in 1979: 50

In 2007: 35

Rank of Atlanta among all the major U.S. cities with the biggest income gap between rich and poor: 1

Rank of New Orleans: 2

Of the top 10 U.S. cities with the biggest income gaps, number in the South: 8*

* After Atlanta and New Orleans, they are Washington, D.C.; Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville, all in Florida; Athens, Ga.; New York; Dallas; and Baton Rouge, La.

(Click on figure to go to source. The numbers are drawn from a new Congressional Budget Office report released this week titled "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income from 1979 to 2007." The chart is from the CBO director's blog; click on image for a larger version.)

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Facing South
Facing South
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