Who Are the One Percent?

Probably Not Who You’d Suspect

September 2021

Script

This video is part of our Kite & Key Shorts series—easy to understand...but hard to forget.

 

What kind of people make it into “The Top One Percent”?

Tech CEOs?

Wall Street titans?

The reality…might surprise you.

The amount of income it takes for an individual to make it into the top one percent is a little over $360,000 a year.i

In fact, about one out of every nine Americans spends at least one year of their lives in the one percent.ii And nearly 70% of Americans spend at least one year in the top 20%.iii

The reason?

Many people’s highest-income years are the result of one-time events,iv like selling a house or cashing out investments—which means that most people in the top one percent don’t stay there for long.

Of the people who make it into the top one percent in any given year, around 60% don’t make it back the next year.v

So, whether you love or hate the top one percent, they’ve probably got less money than you think.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  1. It takes a little over $360,000 in annual income to put an individual in the top one percent.
  2. One in nine Americans will spend at least one year of their lives in the top one percent.
  3. Around 60% of the people who make it into the top one percent fall out of the category within a year.

Sources

  1. "Who Are the One Percent in the United States by Income and Net Worth?" — DQYDJ
  2. "The Life Course Dynamics of Affluence" (Thomas A. Hirschl, Mark R. Rank) — PLOS One
  3. Ibid.
  4. "Is the Breakaway Top One Percent a Problem?" (Brian Riedl) — Economics21
  5. "The Life Course Dynamics of Affluence" (Thomas A. Hirschl, Mark R. Rank) — PLOS One 

Shownotes

SOUND: “Big Little Get Down” (Smack Daddy)

FOOTAGE: Tristan Gassert (Unsplash)

CITED SOURCES AND NEWS OUTLETS ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH THIS PRODUCTION.

Delve Deeper

Bonus Content

More Videos

September 2021

How Western States Can Avoid Water Shortages

Water scarcity isn’t inevitable.
Watch Now...

September 2021

Why the West Keeps Burning

To avoid future catastrophes, states like California will have to quite literally fight fire with fire.
Watch Now...