The rich got richer last year, even as ‘average’ income rises


For most Americans, things are looking up. For the wealthiest, it’s a far prettier picture.

Overall, the median household notched solid economic gains last year, building on improvement from 2015. Incomes for a typical U.S. household, adjusted for inflation, rose 3.2 percent in 2016 to $59,039, according to the latest Census data.

Even though wages and salaries are on the rise, those gains have not been shared across the board.

Average incomes among the wealthiest 5 percent climbed 5.5 percent in 2016 to $375,088. Among the poorest one-fifth of households, incomes rose by just 2.5 percent to $12,943.

At the extreme ends of the spectrum, the income disparity has only intensified. In 2015, for example, the top 1 percent earned 20 percent of all income — roughly double the level from the 1980s.

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