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Bankrate – Income analysis shows widening gap

By Judy Martel • “As Americans continue to climb out of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, many experts are taking note of a widening gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Federal income data over the past 20 years show a growing divide in income among all age groups. Bankrate’s analysis of the data reveals that the 65-plus age group has the widest income gap. But the income gap is growing fastest among 35- to 44-year-olds.  The yawning divide shows one-fifth of American households earning $11,490 annually on average; the next fifth earning $29,696; the middle tier earning $51,179; the next rung up, $82,098; and the top tier, $181,905. Top 5 percent of American households earn $318,052 on average. The bigger the income gap in a group, the greater the disparity between rich and poor. The gap can grow if there’s an increase in population of high earners, for example, and it can grow if there’s a rise in the number of poor people. It can also be a combination of both.”

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