Richy Rich: Income Inequality Infographics

Over the past year we have heard the media frequently use the term "99%."  It's a figure that Occupy Wall Street has been quick to employ to find common ground with the masses.  It's also a phrase that pundits have used to comment on the platforms of this year's presidential candidates.  But The Atlantic features a new way of looking at the 99% / 1% divide, by depicting incomes along a stacked bar chart that resembles the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The interesting chart comes from Scott Winship and is published on the Brookings Institution's website in an article about inequality within the top 1%.  The differences are striking.  If we take the poorest person in the top 1% of US incomes and put him on the 160th floor, then we would find the poorest person in the top 10% living on the 35th floor. Or, to put it another way, the disparity in earnings for these two individuals can be represented as a difference in 125 stories.  On the other hand, consider the median household income.  The poorest person in the top 50% of earners is separated from the poorest person in the top 10% by a mere 22 floors. The top one hundredth of incomes is separated from the poorest of the top 1% by 150 floors.  By contrast, the difference between the poorest individuals in the top 1% and those in the 2% is 67 floors
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