Income diversity

To quote the New York Times

This week’s census report showed that income inequality was near all-time highs in 2004, with 50.1 percent of income going to the top 20 percent of households. And additional census data obtained by the Economic Policy Institute show that only the top 5 percent of households experienced real income gains in 2004. Incomes for the other 95 percent of households were flat or falling.


For fairness and comparison, in Australia, for 2003-04:

  • the top 20% brought home 37.4% of the income. (In the last ten years, that’s ranged from 37.1% (1996) to 38.5% (2000))
  • the wealthiest 20% of households in Australia account for 59% of total household net worth, with average net worth of $1.4 million per household
  • the poorest 20% of households account for 1% of total household net worth, with an average net worth of $23,000 per household.

Source: the Australian Bureau of Statistics (here and here)

Maybe it’s my socialist tendencies, but I can’t help thinking there’s something unfair about a society where the top 20% own nearly 60 times as much, on average as the bottom 20%, and half as much as the bottom 80% put together…

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Author: Robert Watkins

My name is Robert Watkins. I am a software developer and have been for over 18 years now. I currently work for people, but my opinions here are in no way endorsed by them (which is cool; their opinions aren’t endorsed by me either). My main professional interests are in Java development, using Agile methods, with a historical focus on building web based applications. I’m also a Mac-fan and love my iPhone, which I’m currently learning how to code for. I live and work in Brisbane, Australia, but I grew up in the Northern Territory, and still find Brisbane too cold (after 16 years here). I’m married, with two children and one cat. My politics are socialist in tendency, my religious affiliation is atheist (aka “none of the above”), my attitude is condescending and my moral standing is lying down.

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