While most North Carolinians have dealt with stagnant or declining real incomes, the top 1 percent saw their incomes increase substantially during the current recovery, according to a new report, Income inequality in the US by state, metropolitan area, and county, published by EPI.
The last decade in North Carolina has been the most unequal since the 1930s. On average, the top 1 percent earned almost 18 times more than everyone else in North Carolina in 2013. Report authors Mark Price and Estelle Sommeiller lay out the average incomes of the top 1 percent, the income required to be in the top 1 percent, and the gap between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent in every county and state as well as in 916 metropolitan areas. The authors found that, the top 1 percent captured 85.1 percent of total income growth nationwide from 2009 to 2013, while here in North Carolina all of the new income during that period went to the top 1 percent.
Key findings for North Carolina include:
• The top 1 percent earned 17.7 times more than the bottom 99 percent in North Carolina in 2013.
• The average annual income of the top 1 percent in North Carolina was $745,686 in 2013. To be in the top 1 percent in North Carolina, one would have to earn at least $327,549.
• Inflation-adjusted incomes for the top 1 percent doubled between 1979 and 2009, while the rest of North Carolina only saw incomes increase by 10 percent.