Charts: Who Are the 1 Percent?

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrmunningsontour/2479531295/">Ian Munnings</a>/Flickr

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Occupy Wall Street has focused national attention on the vast majority of Americans who have been left behind by the economic growth of the past few decades. But if OWS is the voice of the 99 percent, who exactly are the 1 percent?

A quick look at the numbers reveals that they aren’t all bailed-out Wall Street execs or brokers pulling down fat bonuses. That’s just some of them:

Even though the richest 1 percent of Americans don’t all work on Wall Street, they do control a disproportionate amount of its wealth, including nearly half of all stocks and mutual funds and more than 60 percent of securities.

But you can’t beat this chart for the most dramatic measure of just how wide the gap between the tippy-top and the 99 percent has become. While incomes for the superrich have skyrocketed in the past three decades, most Americans’ have flatlined. 

ALSO: Check out our charts on income inequality, overworked America, and six common economic myths.

Sources: Occupations of top 1 percent: John Bakija, Williams College (PDF); asset ownership: Edward N. Wolff, Bard College (PDF); income growth: The World Top Incomes Database

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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