Shares of household income of quintiles in the United States from 1970 to 2017

Household income in the U.S. - shares of quintiles 1970-2017 The statistic shows the shares of household income of quintiles in the United States from 1970 to 2017. About 51.5 percent of the household income of private households in the U.S. are earned by the highest quintile in 2017, which are the upper 20 percent of the workers. In contrast to that, in the same year, only 3.1 percent of the household income are earned by the lowest quintile. This relation between the quintiles illustrates the income inequality in the United States.
Income inequality

Income inequality is a big topic for public discussion in the United States. About 65 percent of U.S. Americans think that the gap between the rich and the poor has gotten larger in the past ten years.
This impression is backed up by U.S. census data showing that the Gini-coefficient for income distribution in the United States has been increasing constantly over the past decades for individuals and households. The Gini coefficient for individual earnings of full-time, year round workers has increased between 1990 and 2015 from 0.36 to 0.41, for example. This indicates an increase in concentration of income. In general the Gini coefficient is calculated by looking at average income rates. A score of zero would reflect perfect income equality and a score of 1 indicates a society where one person would have all the money and all other people have nothing.
Income distribution is also affected by region. District of Columbia was the state with the widest gap between rich and poor people in the United States with a Gini coefficient of 0.54, as of 2015.
In global comparison, South Africa lead the ranking of the 20 countries with the biggest inequality in income distribution in 2015. South Africa had a score of 63.4 points, based on the Gini coefficient. On the other hand, the Gini coefficient stood at 24.1 in Ukraine, indicating that income is widely spread among the Ukrainian population and not concentrated on a few rich individuals or families. Ukraine led the ranking of the 20 countries with the greatest income distribution equality in 2015.
Show more
Loading statistic...
Lowest quintileSecond quintileThird quintileFourth quintileHighest quintile
19704.1%10.8%17.4%24.5%43.3%
19754.3%10.4%17%24.7%43.6%
19804.2%10.2%16.8%24.6%44.2%
19853.9%9.8%16.2%24.4%45.6%
19903.8%9.6%15.9%24%46.6%
19953.7%9.1%15.2%23.3%48.7%
20003.6%8.9%14.8%23%49.8%
20053.4%8.6%14.6%23%50.4%
20103.3%8.5%14.6%23.4%50.3%
20113.2%8.4%14.3%23%51.1%
20123.2%8.3%14.4%23%51%
20133.2%8.4%14.4%23%51%
20143.1%8.2%14.3%23.2%51.2%
20153.1%8.2%14.3%23.2%51.1%
20163.1%8.3%14.2%22.9%51.5%
20173.1%8.2%14.3%23%51.5%
Lowest quintileSecond quintileThird quintileFourth quintileHighest quintile
19704.1%10.8%17.4%24.5%43.3%
19754.3%10.4%17%24.7%43.6%
19804.2%10.2%16.8%24.6%44.2%
19853.9%9.8%16.2%24.4%45.6%
19903.8%9.6%15.9%24%46.6%
19953.7%9.1%15.2%23.3%48.7%
20003.6%8.9%14.8%23%49.8%
20053.4%8.6%14.6%23%50.4%
20103.3%8.5%14.6%23.4%50.3%
20113.2%8.4%14.3%23%51.1%
20123.2%8.3%14.4%23%51%
20133.2%8.4%14.4%23%51%
20143.1%8.2%14.3%23.2%51.2%
20153.1%8.2%14.3%23.2%51.1%
20163.1%8.3%14.2%22.9%51.5%
20173.1%8.2%14.3%23%51.5%
Download Settings Share
Chart type
Datalabels
Share on Social Media
HTML code to embed chart as PNG (FAQ)
Download started
Please be patient - this may take a moment
Description Source More information
The statistic shows the shares of household income of quintiles in the United States from 1970 to 2017. About 51.5 percent of the household income of private households in the U.S. are earned by the highest quintile in 2017, which are the upper 20 percent of the workers. In contrast to that, in the same year, only 3.1 percent of the household income are earned by the lowest quintile. This relation between the quintiles illustrates the income inequality in the United States.
Income inequality

Income inequality is a big topic for public discussion in the United States. About 65 percent of U.S. Americans think that the gap between the rich and the poor has gotten larger in the past ten years.
This impression is backed up by U.S. census data showing that the Gini-coefficient for income distribution in the United States has been increasing constantly over the past decades for individuals and households. The Gini coefficient for individual earnings of full-time, year round workers has increased between 1990 and 2015 from 0.36 to 0.41, for example. This indicates an increase in concentration of income. In general the Gini coefficient is calculated by looking at average income rates. A score of zero would reflect perfect income equality and a score of 1 indicates a society where one person would have all the money and all other people have nothing.
Income distribution is also affected by region. District of Columbia was the state with the widest gap between rich and poor people in the United States with a Gini coefficient of 0.54, as of 2015.
In global comparison, South Africa lead the ranking of the 20 countries with the biggest inequality in income distribution in 2015. South Africa had a score of 63.4 points, based on the Gini coefficient. On the other hand, the Gini coefficient stood at 24.1 in Ukraine, indicating that income is widely spread among the Ukrainian population and not concentrated on a few rich individuals or families. Ukraine led the ranking of the 20 countries with the greatest income distribution equality in 2015.
Show more
Release date
September 2018
Region
United States
Survey time period
1970 to 2017

More information

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $588 / Year

Basic Account

Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Register for free

Premium Account

Your perfect start with Statista

  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$49 / Month *

Corporate Account

Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

Send request

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax
   (New York residents only).
Leading companies trust Statista:
paypalgoogleadobepgsamsungtelekom

Related Studies: Available to Download in PDF or PPTX Format

Poverty and Income in the United States
Poverty and Income in the United States

All Information
in one Presentation

Poverty and Income in the United States

Everything On "Poverty and Income in the United States" in One Document: Edited and Divided into Handy Chapters. Including Detailed References.

Statista is a great source of knowledge, and pretty helpful to manage the daily work.
Christof Baron

Christof Baron
CEO, MindShare Germany

Statistics on "Poverty and Income in the United States"

  • Poverty
  • Income
The most important statistics
  • Inequality
Need help with using Statista for your research? Tutorials and first steps

Further Content: Statistics, Studies, and Topic Pages

Statistics on the topic

Topics

About Statista

Learn more about how Statista can support your business.

Request webinar
Do you have any questions about our business solutions?

We provide you with detailed information about our Corporate Account.

News
News