Saturday, August 7, 2010

To Have and Have Not – Ranks of Millionaires, Impoverished Both Are Climbing

Considering the U.S. economy is still struggling, newly-released data showing an all-time record number of food stamp recipients – 40.8 million in May, up by 400,000 compared to April – shouldn't surprise many people.

Yet, according to a newly released report from wealth tracking consultants Capgemini, the number of millionaires across ten major U.S. metropolitan areas increased 17.5 percent in 2009 over 2008. New York City has the most millionaires, 667,000, up 18.7 percent.

n 1967, the first year the Census Bureau began tracking economic disparity, the richest ten percent of the country made, on average, $84,800, or roughly 9 times as much as the poorest ten percent.

In 1986, the wealthiest ten percent made ten times as much as the poorest.

In 2008, the most recent statistical period available, the wealthiest Americans earned, on average, $138,300, or 11.4 times as much as the poorest.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans living below the poverty line (there are various breakpoints, all based on annual household income; for a single individual under age 65 it's $11,201) is rising.

In 2008, an estimated 39.8 million people, or 13.2 percent of Americans, were living below the poverty threshold.

That's an increase of 6.7 percent compared to 2007, when an estimated 37.3 million people were considered impoverished.

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