WASHINGTON (AP) — The income gap between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America last year reached the widest point since the Roaring Twenties.
The top 1 percent of U.S. earners collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, their largest share since 1928. And the share held by the top 10 percent of earners last year reached a record 48.2 percent.
U.S. income inequality has been growing for almost three decades. But it grew again last year, according to an analysis of IRS figures dating to 1913 by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University.
One of them, Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, said the incomes of the richest Americans might have surged last year in part because they cashed in stock holdings to avoid higher capital gains taxes that took effect in January.
Last year, the incomes of the top 1 percent rose nearly 20 percent compared with a 1 percent increase for the remaining 99 percent.