How Much Do You Really Need to Be in the Top 1%?

How Much Do You Really Need to Be in the Top 1%?

Making it into the top 1% is no easy feat.

But if you call Arkansas home, it might be just a little bit easier.

That's according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, which calculated how much income is required in each state to be considered among the richest 1% of citizens.

Based on IRS data for 2012 tax returns, the researchers determined that, at $228,298, the threshold in Arkansas is the lowest in the country. And New Mexico, West Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi are in similar territory, with cutoffs all well below the $300K mark.


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On the other end of the spectrum: Connecticut. Residents there need to make almost three times what Arkansans need to earn—a whopping $677,608—in order to count themselves among the upper echelon of their state.

Following Connecticut are Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York, which all require salaries of $500K and above in order to reach the top.

The report, which focused on inequality within the states, also zeroed in on the areas with the biggest gap between that 1% and everyone else. The Northeast in general was found to have the biggest differential, while the Midwest—perhaps due to manufacturing industries there with strong unions—boasted the smallest gap.

In general, the report found, income growth since the recession ended has been uneven, with the majority of gains going to the already wealthy. In fact, in 39 states the top 1% took at least half of all income growth between 2009 and 2012.

RELATED: Where Income Inequality Thrives


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