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Home>UPDATE: These 6 charts explain why some Americans have gotten much richer than others

UPDATE: These 6 charts explain why some Americans have gotten much richer than others

UPDATE: These 6 charts explain why some Americans have gotten much richer than others

10/06/2017

By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch

Average wealth has increased over the past 50 years, but not for everyone

The U.S. economy has generated immense wealth over the last half century, but not all Americans have been invited to the party.

White Americans have overwhelmingly benefited from the rise in incomes, according to a new report (http://apps.urban.org/features/wealth-inequality-charts/) by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit policy group based in Washington, D.C., while most other groups have been left behind. Looking at private income, such as earnings and dividends, and government benefits like Social Security, the income of families near the top increased roughly 90% from 1963 to 2016, while the income of families at the bottom rose less than 10%.

Here are some key takeaways:

-- The richest households now have 12 times the wealth of families in the middle of the income spectrum versus 6 times the wealth in 1963

-- Those in the middle more than doubled their wealth over the same period while families wealthier than 90% of all households saw their wealth increase fivefold

-- At the same time, the poorest 10% families in America went from having no wealth in 1963 to being $1,000 in debt in 2016

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