One chart shows how the top 1% of Americans have grown their wealth in the past 20 years
- The top 1% of Americans increased their
wealthby $4 trillion from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020.
- That group of households together held wealth of $38.61 trillion at the end of last year.
- In contrast, the bottom 50% held $2.49 trillion, or 2.0% of household wealth.
From the end of 2019 to 2020, the top 1% of Americans added just about $4 trillion to their wealth.
According to data from the Federal Reserve, the top 1% of Americans held about $34.58 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2019. By the fourth quarter of 2020, they had $38.61 trillion.
They gained just about that much in 2019 too; the top 1% had $30.35 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018, and had $34.58 trillion by the end of 2019.
Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of Americans don't even hold as much wealth in total as the top 1% gained in 2020. At the end of 2020, the bottom 50% had $2.49 trillion in total household wealth.
The bottom half increased their wealth by $0.47 trillion from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020. While that's a far cry from the gains the top 1% saw, it's still almost a 25% increase from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020.
The Federal Reserve provides data on household wealth for different groups, including broken down by wealth percentile. The following chart highlights household wealth by wealth percentile over the past two decades:
Even before 2020, household wealth did not increase much for the bottom 50%. The bottom 50% held 3.4% of wealth in the first quarter of 2000, higher than the 2.0% they held at the end of 2020.
Inequality has worsened during the pandemic
Broadly, the pandemic has seen a K-shaped recovery, where higher-income Americans see their wages and jobs grow, and lower-income Americans experience the opposite. But income inequality isn't a new pandemic problem - as the chart shows, vast disparities existed prior to March 2020.
But low-wage and non-white workers have been continually hit the hardest throughout the pandemic. And post-pandemic prospects for low-wage workers are also murky: most of them may have to change careers, and pick up new skills to stay afloat.
- How to use the realistic crying face filter on Snapchat
- Elon Musk praised Netflix for telling employees to quit if they couldn't work on content they disagreed with. He previously bashed the platform as having a 'woke mind virus.'
- The Terra LUNA crypto crash has sparked the debate on ‘true’ decentralisation
- Apple’s new subscription policy allows developers to charge you more money without your permission
- Ethereum owners have lost cryptocurrency worth $1.6 billion since its "presale"
- Rising dengue cases in Uttar Pradesh put health officials on high alert
- Four in ten American users thought that Facebook should have blocked Trump sooner, reveal leaked internal documents
- Sony announced the upcoming PlayStation Plus games lineup for India - here’s the complete list