Chart of the day, income-inequality edition

By Felix Salmon
June 7, 2011
World Top Incomes Database.

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If you want to waste a bunch of time this morning, I can highly recommend playing around with the World Top Incomes Database. Click on “Graphics,” and knock yourself out — the database has a wealth of information, going all the way back to the 19th century, and creates lovely charts on the fly; it will even export them in .png format for you.

Here’s one I just put together, showing how in 1994 the top 0.5% of the US population started raking in a greater share of total income than the top 1% of the German population — and how the top 1% in the US are seeing their proportion of total income rise dramatically, even as their German counterparts are seeing their share of total income shrink.

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In any case, do play around, it’s a fantastic resource with a massive database behind it. Thanks to Barry for the pointer!

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