It’s getting harder to be one of the wealthiest people in the country.
The income levels of the top 1% of taxpayers in the U.S. were up 7.2% in 2017, the most recent numbers available. New data from the Internal Revenue Service puts the entry mark at $515,371 per year.
That’s more than 10 times as high as the adjusted gross income of the benchmark to be part of the top 50% of taxpayers, who take home $41,740 or more. (That group pays 97% of taxes, according to the IRS.)
Even among the rich, there’s an upper echelon. For the 1%, that’s the top 0.1%. To reach that milestone in 2017, you’d have had to earn $2.4 million—a 38% increase since 2011, the heart of the Occupy Wall Street protests, when “the 1%” became part of our national vocabulary.
Income inequality has been a topic frequently discussed by the Democratic presidential candidates this year, especially Bernie Sanders. Earlier this year, a paper authored by UC Berkeley economics professor Gabriel Zucman found that income inequality in the U.S. has reached levels last seen in the years just before the Great Depression.
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