What it takes to be in the top 1 percent of your state

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When it comes to income inequality, even the top 1 percent of earners in the U.S. stack up unevenly, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute.

It costs the least in Mississippi, $254,362, to crack the top 1 percent of earners in the state, the think tank found after analyzing annual incomes by state reported in the 2015 U.S. Census. They would need to make almost three times that amount to break into the 1 percent club in Connecticut where top earners make at least $700,800.

The discrepancy when comparing average incomes is even worse with Connecticut’s wealthiest 1 percent making an average of more than $2.5 million a year and Mississippi’s richest families at $580,461.

The top 1 percent of households in some less fortunate states, in fact, wouldn’t even make the cut for the top 5 percent in others.

The nation’s highest earners also are increasingly concentrated in a handful of states: California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois.

They are also the most unequal. New York was the most unequal state in the nation, when measured by average income, with the top 1 percent averaging about $2.2 million in annual earnings, about 44 times the average income of $49,617 for the other 99 percent.

Florida was the second most unequal, with the richest making an average of $1.5 million, or 40 times, the rest of the Sunshine State at $39,094. Connecticut ranked third with a ratio of 37.

The closest income gap was in Alaska where the top 1 percent earned an average of $910,059, or 12.7 times the average of $71,876 for every other household.

The national minimum for top earners is $421,926, the data show.

The variances are even greater at a community level, as the rich increasingly flock to wealth clusters with like-minded and like-moneyed millionaires and billionaires.

“The dollar amounts of the top 1 percent threshold can vary sharply from one locale to another,” the report said. “A community in which the threshold is less than $100,000 clearly looks different from a community with a threshold greater than $2 million—it means something very different to be in the top 1 percent in Liberty County, Georgia, versus Teton County, Wyoming.”

Here are the minimum household income needed to crack the top 1 percent in each state and the District of Columbia:

  1. Connecticut: $700,800
  2. District of Columbia: $598,155
  3. New Jersey: $588,575
  4. Massachusetts: $582,774
  5. New York: $550,174
  6. California: $514,694
  7. Colorado: $458,576
  8. Illinois: $456,377
  9. Washington: $451,395
  10. Maryland: $445,783
  11. North Dakota: $445,415
  12. Minnesota: $443,118
  13. Texas: $440,758
  14. Virginia: $425,144
  15. Florida: $417,587
  16. South Dakota: $407,406
  17. Wyoming: $405,596
  18. New Hampshire: $405,286
  19. Alaska: $400,017
  20. Pennsylvania: $388,593
  21. Kansas: $375,344
  22. Utah: $374,467
  23. Georgia: $371,811
  24. Nebraska: $363,310
  25. Oregon: $358,937
  26. Wisconsin: $349,905
  27. Rhode Island: $346,657
  28. North Carolina: $343,066
  29. Nevada: $341,335
  30. Delaware: $340,770
  31. Ohio: $334,979
  32. Oklahoma: $333,139
  33. Tennessee: $332,913
  34. Iowa: $331,572
  35. Arizona: $331,074
  36. Michigan: $328,649
  37. Missouri: $326,839
  38. Vermont: $321,969
  39. Montana: $321,849
  40. South Carolina: $318,463
  41. Louisiana: $318,393
  42. Indiana: $316,756
  43. Idaho: $314,53
  44. Hawaii: $310,5662
  45. Maine: $303,897
  46. Alabama: $297,564
  47. Kentucky: $274,818
  48. West Virginia: $258,078
  49. New Mexico: $255,429
  50. Arkansas: $255,050
  51. Mississippi: $254,362

Source: Economic Policy Institute

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