Charts: How the One Percent Doubled Their Income


If you’re looking for stats on the growing gap between the 99 percent and the 1 percent, the Congressional Budget Office is a good place to start. The staid bipartisan number-crunching agency is the source of some of Mother Jones‘ ever-popular (and poster-izable!) income inequality charts. Now the CBO has a new report full of data whose takeaway, Kevin Drum notes, is pretty simple: “The rich are getting richer, the rest of us are just kind of drifting along.”

Here are a couple charts that illustrate the trend. First off, a look at how wealth has been steadily redistributed upward over the past 30 years (hover over a column to see more data):

Hover over a column to see more data.

The richest Americans have seen a nearly 120 percent increase in their income since the late ’70s. Meanwhile, the middle quintile of earners have seen their incomes grow 30 percent (hover over a column to see more data):

 Hover over a column to see more data.

Want more charts like these? See our charts on the secrets of the jobless recovery, the richest 1 percent of Americans, and how the superwealthy beat the IRS.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

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