Income distribution: additional data

Lane Kenworthy, The Good Society
November 2020

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A1. Rich countries: Income inequality between the top 1% and the bottom 99%
A2. Rich countries: Income inequality within the bottom 99%
A3. Rich countries: Income inequality between the upper-middle and the middle
A4. Rich countries: Income inequality within the lower half
A5. US states: Income inequality between the top 1% and the bottom 99%

RICH COUNTRIES: INCOME INEQUALITY BETWEEN THE TOP 1% AND THE BOTTOM 99%

Data on the top 1%’s share of income are available for nineteen rich democracies. They are compiled by the World Inequality Database, using tax records. These data are for pretax income excluding capital gains.

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Figure A1. Top 1%’s share of income in rich countries
Pretax income. Excludes capital gains. The vertical axes don’t begin at zero. Data source: World Inequality Database.

RICH COUNTRIES: INCOME INEQUALITY WITHIN THE BOTTOM 99%

The following charts show the Gini coefficient for household income in the lower 99%. The Gini can range from 0 to 1, with larger numbers indicating greater inequality. The incomes include government transfers and subtract taxes. The data are from three sources: the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), the OECD, and Frederick Solt’s Standardized World Income Inequality Database.

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Figure A2. Income inequality within the bottom 99% in rich countries
Gini coefficient. Posttransfer-posttax income, adjusted for household size. The vertical axes don’t begin at zero. Thick solid lines: Luxembourg Income Study data. Thin solid lines: OECD data. Dashed lines: Standardized World Income Inequality Database data.

RICH COUNTRIES: INCOME INEQUALITY BETWEEN THE UPPER-MIDDLE AND THE MIDDLE

The following charts show the ratio of household income at the 90th percentile to income at the 50th percentile (median). This is a helpful measure of inequality on the upper half of the income ladder, excluding those at the top. For most countries we have two data sources: the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) and the OECD.

appendix-p90p50ratio-21countries-1967to2017-country1to8

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Figure A3. Income inequality between the upper-middle and the middle in rich countries
Ratio of income at the 90th percentile to income at the 50th percentile. Posttransfer-posttax income, adjusted for household size. The vertical axes don’t begin at one. Thick lines: Luxembourg Income Study data. Thin lines: OECD data.

RICH COUNTRIES: INCOME INEQUALITY IN THE LOWER HALF

The following charts show the ratio of household income at the 50th percentile (median) to income at the 10th percentile. This is a useful indicator of inequality within the lower half of the income distribution. The incomes include government transfers and subtract taxes. For most countries we have two data sources: the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) and the OECD.

appendix-p50p10ratio-21countries-1967to2017-country1to8

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Figure A4. Income inequality in the lower half in rich countries
Ratio of income at the 50th percentile to income at the 10th percentile. Posttransfer-posttax income, adjusted for household size. The vertical axes don’t begin at one. Thick lines: Luxembourg Income Study data. Thin lines: OECD data.

US STATES: INCOME INEQUALITY BETWEEN THE TOP 1% AND THE BOTTOM 99%

Data on the top 1%’s income share in the US states are drawn from income tax records.

appendix-top1pctincomeshare-50states-1950to2015-state1to8

appendix-top1pctincomeshare-50states-1950to2015-state9to16

appendix-top1pctincomeshare-50states-1950to2015-state17to24

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Figure A5. Top 1%’s share of income in the US states
Pretax income. Includes capital gains. Data source: Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price, “The New Gilded Age: Income Inequality in the U.S. by State, Metropolitan Area, and County,” Economic Policy Institute, July 19, 2018.