Monday Numbers: A closer look at the remarkable economic inequality that plagues North Carolina

Monday Numbers: A closer look at the remarkable economic inequality that plagues North Carolina

As Dr. Patrick McHugh reported last Friday on The Progressive Pulse:

“A new report from the Economic Policy Institute (“The new gilded age: Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county”) shows that the level of income inequality in the United States and North Carolina has increased over the past several years to a point where we are now at or above the economic divide that helped to propel the world in the worst economic collapse in modern history.”

Here are some of the remarkable (and remarkably disturbing) numbers from that report:

20.6 – number of times larger the incomes are for North Carolina’s richest 1% than the rest of the population

17.2 – percentage of total state income that the richest 1% took home in 2015

7.4 – percentage of total state income that the richest 0.1% took home in 2015

$902,972 – average annual income of North Carolina’s richest 1%

$43,850 – average annual income of the other 99% of North Carolina households

$1,316,985 – average annual income of the richest 1% in the United States as a whole

$50,107 – average annual income of the other 99% of U.S. households

26.3 – number of times larger the incomes are for the richest 1% than the rest of the U.S. population

1929 (just prior to the Great Depression) – last time the richest 1% of Americans were taking home comparable percentages of total U.S. income

1974 – the year the level of income inequality in North Carolina was the lowest in modern history

7.8 – percentage of total state income that the richest 1% took home in 1974

$1,330,723 – average annual income of the richest 1% the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metro area (North Carolina’s most unequal)

$53,431 – average annual income of the other 99% of households in that metro area

24.9 – number of times larger the incomes are for the richest 1% in Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metro area than they are for the rest of the population

$1,886,112 – average annual income of the richest 1% the Mecklenburg County (North Carolina’s most unequal)

$59,876 – average annual income of the other 99% of households in that county

31.2 – number of times larger the incomes are for the richest 1% in Mecklenburg County than they are for the rest of the population

28 – number of times larger the incomes are for North Carolina’s richest 5% than the poorest fifth of the population

21.7 – percentage of North Carolina children living in poverty in 2016

Almost 10 – percentage of their incomes that middle- and low-income North Carolinians pay in state and local taxes combined (“North Carolina’s Upside Down Tax Code” – N.C. Budget and Tax Center, April 16, 2018)

Just over 5 – percentage of their incomes that the richest North Carolinians pay in state and local taxes combined (ibid.)

Myriad – ways in which proposed constitutional amendment to cap the state income tax could exacerbate this inequality over time (“Income tax rate cap amendment will bind the hands of future lawmakers and North Carolinians,” N.C. Budget and Tax Center, June 28, 2018)