Richest 1 per cent of Americans now own more wealth than the entire middle class

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Oct 11, 2021, 01:42 PM(IST)

March 16, 2022: The central bank raised interest rates for the first time since 2018 to the 0.25-0.50 percent range. April 6, 2022: The minutes from the Fed's March policy meeting are released, showing that many participants see one or more 50-basis point rate hikes as necessary if inflation pressure continues. April 29, 2022: The Fed's preferred inflation gauge, the personal consumption expenditures price index, rises 6.6 percent year-on-year and 0.9 percent month-on-month in March, both faster paces than the month prior. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The richest 1% represents around 1.3 million families earning more than $500,000 per year, out of a total population of almost 130 million.

According to new statistics from the Federal Reserve of the United States, the wealth gap in America has expanded and economic inequality has worsened in 2021, despite a coronavirus outbreak that has disproportionately harmed low-wage service workers.

After years of decline, America's middle class now owns a lower percentage of the country's wealth than the top 1%.

In June, the total assets of the middle 60% of US families by income – metric economists frequently use to describe the middle class – fell to 26.6 per cent of national wealth, the lowest level in Federal Reserve records dating back three decades.

The superrich held a larger percentage for the first time, accounting for 27 per cent of the total.

The richest 1% represents around 1.3 million families earning more than $500,000 per year, out of a total population of almost 130 million.

The accumulation of wealth in the hands of a small percentage of the people is at the heart of several significant political disputes in the country.

President Joe Biden is attempting to help to work- and middle-class families with a $3.5 trillion plan before Congress that includes child care, education, and health-care assistance paid for by tax hikes on the wealthy. 

The figures provide a glimpse into the slow-motion deterioration in the financial stability of middle-class workers, which has stoked voter dissatisfaction in recent years.

Despite trillions of dollars in government aid, this persisted throughout the COVID-19 epidemic. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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