July 16, 2020

Income Inequality Has Been on the Rise Since the 1980s, and Continues Its Upward Trajectory

Income inequality in the US continues to rise, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office. That report, which presents data from 2016, finds that average income among households in the lowest fifth of the income distribution was $21,000, while income for households in the highest fifth averaged $291,000. Below is background on the trends in income inequality since 1979, as well as an explanation of how government policies can affect those trends.

Related: Income and Wealth in The United States: An Overview of Recent Data

Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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