What it takes to be a one percenter
New data says it takes about $370K in adjusted gross income to make elite group
It doesn't take a million bucks to get into the top 1 percent.
In fact, it took a little less than $370,000 in adjusted gross income in 2010 to make it into this elite group, according to newly released data from the Internal Revenue Service. That's up slightly from the $352,000 the year before.
But on average, the top 1 percent earned $1.12 million, up from $980,000 the year before.
The top 1 percent have been in the spotlight since Occupy Wall Street protesters first began camping out in cities across the U.S. last fall. The presidential campaign also centered on the haves and have nots, with President Barack Obama calling for tax increases on the rich and challenger Mitt Romney arguing that taxing the wealthy would hurt the economy.
That fight continues as the two parties look to resolve the fiscal cliff crisis.
The fortunes of the top 1 percent are highly dependent on the stock market since much of their wealth comes from investments. Looking at the past decade, the club had its most exclusive year in 2007, when the stock market was roaring. It took more than $426,000 in adjusted gross income to make it into the top 1 percent that year.
There were 1.35 million households that qualified for entry. They earned nearly 19 percent of the nation's income and paid roughly 37 percent of its income tax.
The growth of the top 1 percent's income has been the subject of heated debate over the past year as data show their earnings growing far faster than the less fortunate.
Incomes for the top 1 percent grew 241 percent between 1979 and 2007, compared to 11 percent for the bottom fifth and 19 percent for the middle fifth, according to statistics compiled by the left leaning Economic Policy Institute.
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