U.S. wealth distribution 2016

In 2016, 77.1 percent of the total wealth in the United States was owned by the top 10 percent of earners. In comparison, the lowest 50 percent of earners only owned 1.2 percent of the total wealth.

Income inequality in the U.S.

Despite the idea that the United States is a country where hard work and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps will inevitably lead to success, this is unfortunately not the case for many Americans. In 2017, 10.7 percent of U.S. households had an annual income under 15,000 U.S. dollars. With such a small percentage of people in the United States owning such a vast majority of the country’s wealth, the gap between the rich and poor in America is becoming larger and larger.

The top one percent

The United States follows closely behind China as the country with the most billionaires in the world, and Jeff Bezos alone, Amazon founder and richest man in the United States, owned about 131 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. Over the past 50 years, the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio has exploded, causing the gap between rich and poor to grow, with some economists theorizing that this gap is the largest it has been since right before the Great Depression.

Wealth distribution in the United States in 2016

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Release date

October 2018


United States

Survey time period


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Statistics on "Wage inequality in the U.S."

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