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The Top 1% Aren’t As Rich As They Used to Be, Data Shows

July 8, 2016, 8:18 PM UTC
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Tiny violins ready: The recovery hasn’t been kind even to Americas top 1%.

Data from Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, shows that the average income of the top 1% is 12% less than it was in 2007, falling to $1.36 million in 2015, from $1.56 million before the financial crisis, according to CNNMoney.

The stock market collapse during the great recession hit the top 1% hard, resulting in a drop of their average income, which includes annual gains and losses from investments, of nearly $600,000 to $992,892 in 2009. However, the economic recovery has grown their income 7.7% in 2015, CNNMoney reports.

However, the rest of America may have a hard time finding any sympathy for this elite group, as their average income is still only 5% lower than pre-recession levels. The rest of us—the 99%—had an average income of $48,768 in 2015, which is down from $51,280 in 2007.

Fortune previously reported on a study from Credit Suisse that found that the top 1% owns half of the world’s wealth.


Thirty-four million people around the world, or roughly 0.5% of the earth’s population, have a U.S. dollar net worth of at least $1 million, and they account for 45% of global wealth. On the other hand, 71% of the world’s population have a net worth of less than $10,000, the study found.