Inequality data and statistics give us an important insight into the state of our economy and the health of our society.
In this section, we offer quick takes on economic inequality, as categorized in five key areas: income, wealth, global, health, and racial. In each category, we chart some inequality statistics and discuss the basic numbers.
You can click on each of the section headings to find more data on that topic area.
Data from tax returns show that the top 1 percent of households in the United States received 8.9 percent of all pre-tax income in 1976. In 2012, the top 1 percent share had more than doubled to 22.46 percent.
The total inflation-adjusted net worth of the Forbes 400, an annual listing of America’s richest individuals, rose from $507 billion in 1995 to $1.62 trillion in 2007, before increasing again to $2 trillion in 2012.
Estimates from the Credit Suisse Research Institute, released in October 2010, show that the richest 0.5 percent of global adults hold well over a third of the world’s wealth.
Approximately one third of annual deaths in the United States, epidemiological researchers believe, can be credited to the nation’s excessive inequality.