Here’s another of my charts—this one for the top 1 percent—from the latest data on inequality in the United States created and disseminated by Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty.
This chart shows the overall growth of the share of income going to the top 1 percent as well as the income shares of various subgroups: the top .01% (one hundredth of one percent, P99.99-100), the rest of the top .1% (one tenth of one percent, P99.9-99.99), the rest of the top .5% (one half of one percent, P99.5-99.9), and the rest of the top 1% (the bottom half of the top one percent, P99-99.5). (Someone else will have to come up with some catchy names for these subgroups.)
So, for example, the share of income captured by the top .01%, which was already high (at 0.9 percent) in 1979, increased by a factor of almost four and a half (to 3.96 percent) by 2015. The shares of income captured by the other subgroups also increased over that period, although less dramatically.
I’ve included the actual data below.
The previous chart, for the entire distribution of income in the United States, is here. As always, readers should feel free to use this chart and reproduce it as they wish.