Most of America is poor, broke, and getting poorer. So shows new Census statistics for 2011. Real median income for households declined 1.5% to $50,054 and has declined for the second year in a row. The household median income is 8.1% lower than 2007 and 8.9% lower than 1999! The median belies the growing income inequality in the United States. Below is the Census graph of real household income by selected percentiles and illustrates our tragic unequal state. The top 5% increased their income by 66.2% while the the median income has only increased 19% since 1967. Real means inflation is removed.
By age, the decline is for those under the age of 65 where median income for households dropped 2.1% from 2010 alone. The below Census graph showing the percent change in income from 2010 to 2011 per age bracket. One reason those between ages 55 to 64 are hammered might be workplace hiring age discrimination.
The survey breaks up household equivalence-adjusted income by quintiles, evenly distributed. Equivalence-adjusted means they are accounting for the size of the household that income supports. The below pie chart illustrates the quintile distribution scale and notice the colors.
Now watch how equivalence-adjusted income is distributed per quintile in the below pie chart. The colors match the above pie chart. The top 20% are getting half of the income pie. The bottom 5th are only getting 3.4% of the equivalence-adjusted income. The poor and the middle class are getting crumbs, in so many words.
Gets worse than that. Of the top 20% household income earners, the top 5% are getting 22.1% of that income. This is income inequality as it's finest. Welcome to the banana republic of the United States.
The below Census graph shows the last change in income by percentiles from 2010 to 2011. This graph should outrage you. Once again the top 20% of income earners gained while the middle class was hammered. The top 5th of income earners gained 1.6% from last year on income, with the top 5% increasing their income by 5.3%. Then, look at the middle class. The bottom 5th probably had no statistical change because they are already operating on fumes. Once again, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, the poor being the U.S. middle class.
The Gini index is an international measure of income inequality and going up in value is bad, unless of course you're a super rich and enjoy stepping on the down trodden. From the report:
Based on the Gini index, income inequality increased by 1.6 percent between 2010 and 2011; this represents the first time the Gini index has shown an annual increase since 1993, the earliest year available for comparable measures of income inequality. The Gini index was 0.477 in 2011. (The Gini index is a measure of household income inequality; zero represents perfect income equality and 1 perfect inequality.)
Below is a graph of the United States Gini index. These new results put the United States on par with China, the Dominican Republic, Napal and Ecuador for income inequality according to the CIA ranking.
In other words, the United States, with all of her soaring rhetoric and American dreams is really a banana republic income inequality nightmare.
We'll have much more overviews of this report. For now we leave you with this damning report statistic:
During the 2-year period from 2009 to 2010, approximately 28.0 percent of the population had at least one spell of poverty lasting 2 or more months.