The One Percent Reached New Heights in 2013

The Zucman-Saez wealth data based upon tax returns is the best thing going right now. Here is their time series of the share of the national wealth held by the 1 percent:

The Survey of Consumer Finances data tracks the Saez-Zucman data for the top 10%, but diverges somewhat for the top 1%. Specifically, the SCF data tends to underestimate wealth concentration at the very top relative to the Saez-Zucman data.

Nonetheless, the SCF just released its 2013 data, and so it's worth taking a look at for trendspotting purposes if nothing else.

Here is the share of the national wealth owned by the top 1%:

Between 1989 and 2013, the top 1% went from owning 29.9% of the wealth in the nation to owning 35.5% of wealth in the nation. Like I mentioned before, this undershoots the best estimate of the wealth share of the top 1% (which stands at around 40%), but the trend is interesting nonetheless.

Here is the mean wealth of the top 1% in 2013 dollars:

From 1989 to 2013, the mean wealth of the top 1% increased from $10.2 million to $18.8 million, an increase of 83%. By comparison, the overall median family wealth fell from $85.1 thousand to $81.2 thousand over the same period, a decline of 4.5%.

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