Top 1% of Income Earners Made 20% of Total Adjusted Gross Income in 2008





Amount of Adjusted Gross Income Earned by the Top One Percent of the EarnersIn 1987, the top 1% of income earners in the United States earned 12.32% of the total AGI (adjusted gross income) in the country.

In 2008, the top 1% of income earners in the United States earned 20.00% of the total AGI (adjusted gross income) in the country. A year earlier, this number had reached a lofty 22.83%, a near doubling of 1987's figure.

Let's look at the progression from 1987 until 2008:

1987 - 12.32%
1988 - 15.16%
1989 - 14.19%
1990 - 14.00%
1991 - 12.99%
1992 - 14.23%
1993 - 13.79%
1994 - 13.80%
1995 - 14.60%
1996 - 16.04%
1997 - 17.38%
1998 - 18.47%
1999 - 19.51%
2000 - 20.81%
2001 - 17.53%
2002 - 16.12%
2003 - 16.77%
2004 - 19.00%
2005 - 21.20%
2006 - 22.06%
2007 - 22.83%
2008 - 20.00%



The Rise of the Top One Percent of Earners



The top 5% of income earners have seen their share of the total adjusted gross income pie grow as well. In 1987, the top 5% of income earners in the country earned 25.67% of the total adjusted gross income - by 2008, this number had jumped to 34.73% after hitting a high of 37.44% the year before.

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As you can probably guess, this jump for the top 5% of income earners means that other groups had seen their shares drop, and drop considerably.

The drop starts at those who fall in the "between 5-10% of income" range, which worked out to those making between $113,799 and $159,619 in 2008.

In 1987, this group of people earned 11.23% of total adjusted gross income in the country. This number more or less has remained the same from 1987 to 2008, with the 2008 number coming in at 11.03%.

How about those Americans who fell in the "between 10-25%" AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) group?

In 1987, this group made 23.85% of the total adjusted gross income in the country. By 2007, this group saw their share fall to just 20.66% before bouncing back slightly (21.62%) in 2008.

The drops continue to get more noticeable as we get into the between 25-50% and bottom 50% groups.

In 1987, the between 25-50% group earned 23.62% of total adjusted gross income. This number fell considerably over the years, touching a low of 19.04% in 2007. In 2008, the between 25-50% adjusted gross income range group earned 19.86% of total adjusted gross income in the country.

How about the bottom 50% group?

In 1987, this group of Americans earned 15.63% of total adjusted gross income in the country.

In 2008, this group of Americans earned 12.75% of total adjusted gross income in the country.

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Here's a breakdown of the different income categories:

Top 1% - Over $380,354
Top 5% - Over $159,619
Top 10% - Over $113,799
Top 25% - Over $67,280
Top 50% - Over $33,048
Bottom 50% - $33,048 and Lower

As I noted in this article, the top 1% of income earners in the United States paid 38.02% of all federal individual income tax collected in 2008.

Here is the breakdown for all income groups:

Top 1% (Income Split Point $380,354) Paid 38.02% of Federal Individual Income Taxes
Top 5% (Income Split Point $159,619) Paid 58.72% of Federal Individual Income Taxes
Top 10% (Income Split Point $113,799) Paid 69.94% of Federal Individual Income Taxes
Top 25% (Income Split Point $67,280) Paid 86.34% of Federal Individual Income Taxes
Top 50% (Income Split Point $33,048) Paid 97.30% of Federal Individual Income Taxes
Bottom 50% (Anyone Making Less Than $33,048) Paid 2.7% of Federal Individual Income Taxes


Source: Tax Foundation - Summary of Latest Federal Individual Income Tax Data




Filed under: General Knowledge

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