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Featured Article

How is wealth distributed in the United States of America?

Historically, in the USA this percentage of wealth controlled/owned by the very richest 1% is near or at an all time high:


Lower 99%Upper 1%
1922 63.3%36.7%
1929 55.8%44.2%
1933 66.7%33.3%
1939 63.6%36.4%
1945 70.2%29.8%
1949 72.9%27.1%
1953 68.8%31.2%
1962 68.2%31.8%
1965 65.6%34.4%
1969 68.9%31.1%
1972 70.9%29.1%
1976 80.1%19.9%
1979 79.5%20.5%
1981 75.2%24.8%
1983 69.1%30.9%
1986 68.1%31.9%
1989 64.3%35.7%
1992 62.8%37.2%
1995 61.5%38.5%
1998 61.9%38.1%


Sources: 1922-1989 data from Edward N. Wolff, Top Heavy (New Press: 1996). 1992-1998 data from Edward N. Wolff, "Recent Trends in Wealth Ownership, 1983-98," Jerome Levy Economics Institute, April 2000.


Compared to other Western countries, this "lopsided" distribution of wealth is very pronounced in the United States. Nearly the very worst!
countrywealth owned by top 10%
Switzerland71.3%
United States69.8%
Denmark65.0%
France61.0%
Sweden58.6%
UK56.0%
Canada53.0%
Norway50.5%
Germany44.4%
Finland42.3%



Generated 0:01:18 on Nov 24, 2017