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Introduction: This report studies income distribution in the United States between 1967 and 2018 by race and ethnicity.

Methods: The data were derived from the US Census Bureau's Historical Income Tables: Income Inequality

Results: The upper 5% of households controlled 17% of total household income in 1967 and 23% in 2018. The upper 20% of households accounted for 44% of all income in 1967 and 52% in 2018. Economic growth, which has been impressive in the period under consideration, did not result in rising household incomes across the social hierarchy. Between 1967 and 2018 the upper 5% of income-earning households experienced a 125% rise in real incomes using 2018 inflation-calculated dollars. This may be contrasted with the 31% increase in real incomes among the bottom 20% of all households.

Discussion: After a period of declining inequality from the aftermath of the second World War through the 1960s, it is now apparent that income distribution has already returned to the pre-Great Depression era pattern of extreme concentration.


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Available for download on Thursday, December 05, 2019