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Income Inequality Hits Record Levels, New CBO Data Show: Incomes Rose $180,000 For Top 1 Percent In 2005 But Just $400 For Middle-Income Households

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Publication Date: December 2007

Publisher(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Arloc Sherman

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Economics (Property and wealth)

Keywords: Economic projections; Income diversity; Economic inequality

Type: Report


Real after-tax incomes jumped by an average of nearly $180,000 for the top 1 percent of households in 2005, while rising just $400 for middle-income households and $200 for lower-income households, according to new data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). This starkly uneven growth brought income inequality to its highest level since at least 1979, when CBO began gathering these data. Taken together with prior research, the new data indicate that income is now more concentrated at the top than at any time since 1929.