I’m a couple of days late on this, but it’s still worth mentioning the new 2006 "Pulling Apart" report that’s just out. Even if you’re not a data-geek, it’s worth a glance, as it’s easily the single best source for income inequality trends in each of the 50 states. Not dying to read it yet?
Are you sure?
It’s chock full of fun facts like this one:
On average, nationally, the incomes of the poorest fifth of families grew by $2,660 over the two decade period [early 1980s to early 2000s], after adjusting for inflation. By contrast, the incomes of the richest fifth of families grew by almost that much ($2,148) each year over the course of two decades, for a total increase of $45,100.
You can find out how your state fared. And you can find out which Northwest state ranked 3rd in the nation for the greatest increase between the wealthy and the middle class. But you’ll have to read the report for yourself—the full version and state-specific fact sheets are here.
The report is subtitled, "A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends," which pretty much says it all (though perhaps not in the most sparkling language imaginable). It’s researched and written by economists at the Economic Policy Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.