Returning to the CBO report that looks at incomes across all households, I found a data table showing the change in the total income for each quintile (bottom 20%, 20-40%, 40-60%, 60-80% and the top 20%) over the past 20 years.In 2002, if you lived in a household with a total income of:
- less than $15,900 per year then you were in the bottom 20%
- between $15,900 and $27,300 then you were in the 20-40% group
- between $27,300 and $39,800 then you were in the 40-60% group
- between $39,800 and $59,400 then you were in the 60-80% group
- greater than $59,400 then you were in the top 20%
What caught my attention is the dramatic rise (and partial fall) of the income going to the top 20%. While the other quintiles do not display this pattern.
It looks like the drop in United States' total income (seen in the previous post) was due to the change in the top 20% alone.
As for the drop in income, what I think is going on is changes in the stock market effecting income. By looking at the S&P 500 index, we see the raise and fall in the stock market coincides with the changes in the top 20%'s income.