Rising Top Income Shares
Over at Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, Stephen Gordon has posted Michael Veall’s data, updating his past work on the risingÂ income share of top income recipients (expressed as a share of market income declared by adults for tax purposes, and excluding capital gains.) Veall presented his main findings at the CEA meetings.Â The data were extracted by Statscan from tax data.
The data are fascinating to trawl through. The main conclusion here is that the share of the top 1% of individual tax filers has continued to increase since 2002 – the last year for which we had data. Their share has jumped from 7.9% in 1982 – when the upward trend began – to 13.8% in 2007. As of 2007, it took an income of at least $169,231 to get into the top 1%, but incomes in that percentile averaged $403,500 since there is a high level of inequality at the very top of the income spectrum.Â Average inflation adjusted income of the top 1% has doubled since 1982. The detailed data show that a lot of the action is in even smaller top groups than the top 1%.
The posted data show more or less the same trend when attention is turned to family market income, and income defined to include capital gains. The data also show that claims of a high turnover year to year in the ranks of the top 1% are not justified.
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