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Income Inequality Is Skyrocketing, Especially In These 5 States

The principal factors evaluated were the mean household income and median household income in 2011; their growth over the five years from 2011 to 2016; and the consequent growth in the gap between mean income and median income, which is an indicator of worsening wealth inequality. Three of the top five worst states for income inequality rank among the most populous states in the country: California, No. Massachusetts 2011 mean income-median income gap: $22,596 2016 mean income-median income gap: $26,341 Five-year increase in income gap: $3,745 | 17% Income inequality in Massachusetts is among the worst in the country. Although the 2000s dotcom bubble saw the biggest discrepancy develop between what the top 1% and what the bottom 99% earned, the income gap has only steadily gotten worse since, according to data from GOBankingRates. California 2011 mean income-median income gap: $23,516 2016 mean income-median income gap: $27,366 Five-year increase in income gap: $3,850 | 16% Income inequality in California has worsened significantly since the turn of the millennium. Washington 2011 mean income-median income gap: $17,614 2016 mean income-median income gap: $21,174 Five-year increase in income gap: $3,560 | 20% Washington is home to Seattle, the scene of a booming tech industry whose growth has fueled a population and housing surge to an unprecedented level for the state. Both the Seattle metro area and Washington state overall have a top 1% that earns more than 24-times that of the bottom 99% of households, according to recent data. The mean income, however, rose from $58,849 to $65,401 — an increase of $6,552 in average household incomes over five years versus just a $3,000 increase for median incomes. North Dakota 2011 mean income-median income gap: $14,691 2016 mean income-median income gap: $19,714 Five-year increase in income gap: $5,023 | 34% The good news for North Dakota is that its rates of growth for both mean and median household incomes rank among the highest nationally. The bad news is North Dakota has experienced the biggest growth in mean-to-median income discrepancy from 2011 to 2016: An increase of 34%, which has created a current gap of almost $20,000 between mean and median household incomes.