93 percent of income growth went to the wealthiest 1 percent of American households, while everyone else divvied up the 7 percent that was left over according to Emmanuel Saez.
“Figure 1 presents the income share of the top decile from 1917 to 2010 in the United States. In 2010, the top decile includes all families with market income above $108,000. The overall pattern of the top decile share over the century is U-shaped. The share of the top decile is around 45 percent from the mid-1920s to 1940. It declines substantially to just above 32.5 percent in four years during World War II and stays fairly stable around 33 percent until the 1970s. Such an abrupt decline, concentrated exactly during the war years, cannot easily be reconciled with slow technological changes and suggests instead that the shock of the war played a key and lasting role in shaping income concentration in the United States. After decades of stability in the post-war period, the top decile share has increased dramatically over the last twenty-five years and has now regained its pre-war level. Indeed, the top decile share in 2007 is equal to 49.7 percent, a level higher than any other year since 1917 and even surpasses 1928, the peak of stock market bubble in the “roaring” 1920s. In 2010, the top decile share is equal to 47.9 percent.”
“Figure 2 decomposes the top decile into the top percentile (families with income above $352,000 in 2010) and the next 4 percent (families with 3 income between $150,000 and $352,000 in 2010), and the bottom half of the top decile (families with income between $108,000 and $150,000 in 2010). Interestingly, most of the fluctuations of the top decile are due to fluctuations within the top percentile. The drop in the next two groups during World War II is far less dramatic, and they recover from the WWII shock relatively quickly. Finally, their shares do not increase much during the recent decades. In contrast, the top percentile has gone through enormous fluctuations along the course of the twentieth century, from about 18 percent before WWI, to a peak to almost 24 percent in the late 1920s, to only about 9 percent during the
1960s-1970s, and back to almost 23.5 percent by 2007. Those at the very top of the income distribution therefore play a central role in the evolution of U.S. inequality over the course of the twentieth century.”