The wealth gap in America is continuing to grow, as evidenced by this income inequality chart that ranks each state by its economic disparity. With such massive wealth inequality between the income of the top one percent and the bottom 99 percent in so many states, it’s no wonder that the United States is one of the countries with the widest gaps between the rich and the poor.
Using data from an Economic Policy Institute report published in 2018, we ranked the income inequality by state based on how many times more the one percent made than the bottom 99 percent. The average annual income of both the top 1% and the bottom 99% are represented, as well as the percentage of each state’s total annual income that the one percent take home.
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What State Has the Highest Income Inequality?
It’s perhaps no surprise that the state with the highest income gap is New York, where the top one percent make 44.4 times as much as the bottom 99%. The average annual income of New York’s top 1% is $2.2 million, while the average annual income of the 99% is a little more than $49,600. To reach 1% status in the state of New York, you’d have to earn at least $550,174 a year. Not only is New York’s income inequality the highest in the country, its top 1% also takes home the biggest percentage of state income, at a whopping 31%.
Much of this disparity can be attributed to New York County, aka Manhattan, where the $8.9 million average income of the top one percent is 113 times that of the bottom 99%. One piece of data that may surprise you, though, is the county that beat out New York County to have the highest wealth disparity in the entire country: Teton County in Wyoming blew it out of the water, with the one percent making 142.2 times as much as the rest of the population!
Florida’s income inequality is a close second in the rankings, with the state’s 1% earning 39.5 times as much as the bottom 99%. It also just fell short of New York’s percentage of state income that goes to the top one percent, at 28.5%. The average income of the one percent in Florida is $1.5 million, while the average annual income of the bottom 99% is just $39,000. To be in Florida’s top one percent, you would have to earn an annual income of $417,587.
The Top 10 States With the Highest Level of Income Inequality
Here are the top 10 states with the most income inequality, along with how many times more the 1% earn, the average annual income of the 1%, and the average annual income of the 99%:
- New York: 44.4x ($2,202,480/$49,617)
- Florida: 39.5x ($1,543,124/$39,094)
- Connecticut: 37.2x ($2,522,806/$67,742)
- Nevada: 32.7x ($1,354,780/$41,470)
- Wyoming: 31.2x ($1,900,659/$60,922)
- Massachusetts: 30.9x ($1,904,805/$61,694)
- California: 30.7x ($1,693,094/$55,152)
- District of Columbia: 30.4x ($1,858,878/$61,102)
- Illinois: 27x ($1,412,024/$52,216)
- New Jersey: 24.3x ($1,581,829/$65,068)
What State Has the Lowest Income Inequality?
The state with the lowest income inequality is Alaska, where the top 1% in the state earn just 12.7 times as much as the bottom 99%. The top earners in this state have an average annual income of $910,000, while the bottom 99% have the highest annual average income in the country at $71,900. Alaska’s top one percent also takes home the lowest percentage of the state’s total income, at 11.3%.