Step aside, Roaring Twenties, you’ve been bested, inequality-wise.
The richest 1% of Americans collected a greater share of household income last year than at any time in the last century, according to a new analysis of IRS data going back to 1913.
The wealthiest Americans took a hit during the recent financial crisis, with their wealth plummeting 36% between 2007 and 2009. But since then, the net worth of the flushest among us has rebounded sharply, buoyed by rising corporate profits and stock prices. In 2012, 19.3% of all household income in the U.S. went to the top 1% of earners, their greatest share since 1928. Incomes for the top 1% rose nearly 20% last year, while incomes for the remaining 99% increased by just 1%.
One of the academics behind the study, which was conducted by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics, and Oxford, said part of the swell in incomes may partly be a result of Americans cashing in stock holdings in advance of the capital gains tax changes that took effect in January this year.
And just who is in the top 1%, these days? According to the Associated Press, the top 1% of American households had income over $394,000 in 2012. According to the study, 95% of income gains reported since 2009 have gone to that group.