Over the past 50 years in the United States, the disparity between the incomes of the rich and poor has grown significantly. Indeed, the contrast between the wealth of the rich and the poverty of the poor, as measured by a widely used analysis tool, is greater in the U.S. than in any of the world's biggest economies.
Economists use that tool, the Gini Coefficient, to measure and compare household income equality on a scale in which In 0 means every household has exactly the same income and 1 means one household has all the income and the others have nothing. The higher the Gini, the more unequal household incomes are.
Today we look at how household income inequity has changed for the U.S. over the past 50 years. While the rising tide of the U.S. economy has floated all boats, the inequality of income in households has also increased. Interestingly, the upward trending has continued almost unabated through Republican and Democratic administrations, and regardless of which party dominated the Senate and House of Representatives. There are also varying degrees in income inequity from state-to-state.
U.S. household income inequity up in past 50 years