It takes around $385,000 of annual income to get into the US's top 1 percent. But if you really want to count yourself among the 1 percent in some way, you could always move to Arkansas. There, it takes only $228,000.
A new report from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute illustrates what inequality looks like from state to state. Perhaps not surprisingly, it takes a lot to get into the top 1 percent in the area near Wall Street — Connecticut has the highest bar to getting into the top, at $678,000. New York and New Jersey are close behind.
Here's what it takes to be in the top 1 percent in your state:
Of course, a high (or low) threshold for entering the top 1 percent doesn't say much about how far those rich people are from the rest of the state. Here's what the ratio of the average 1 percenter's income to the bottom 99 percent looked like in each state in 2012.
Now, taking the ratio of one average to another has some limitations — a few super rich people, particularly in a small state, can pull that top 1-percent average way up. The two maps taken together provide a bit more information on what inequality looks like in a given state. Connecticut and North Dakota both have a high bars for being in the 1 percent, for example, but the distance between those people and their fellow Nutmeggers and North Dakotans, respectively, differ hugely. Connecticut's average 1 percenter has 51 times the income of the average person in the 99 percent, while the ratio in North Dakota is only 26. That doesn't mean all of the 99 percenters in North Dakota are doing well by any means, but it does at least mean less concentration of income in just a few hands.
Different though they may be, the states are largely united on one thing: the richest citizens in most places are overwhelmingly receiving the largest share of economic boosts. In 39 states, the top 1 percent captured between half and 100 percent of all income growth from 2009 to 2012, according to EPI's analysis of IRS data.
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