Wonder what percentage of total U.S. personal income the top 1% of income earners earned when Eisenhower was president?
Wonder what percentage of total U.S. personal income the top 1% of income earners earned in 2010?
A joint effort by Oxford University, The Paris School of Economics, The Institute for New Economic Thinking, and the Center for Equitable Growth at University of California - Berkeley has lead to a new website, The World Top Incomes Database. The website is the product of a long and intense mining of tax records in a number of countries all over the world. Here is a graph showing some of the data from the website, comparing the percentage share of the top 1% earners in France, Japan, Australia and the United States from 1914 to 2010.
You can "click" on the "Database" button at the site and put in a country, income earning group and a range of years to see the variation over time of the percentage of total income earned by the selected income group. (There are plenty of other variables to be searched as well.) I did a search on the top 10% earners over the period 1977 to 2010, and found that the top 10% took home 32.43% of all income when I began as a lawyer in 1977, and took home 46.26% in 2010. When I changed that to the top .01% (the top 1% of the top 1%), the figures were 1977 - .57% and 2010 - 3.30%.