Top 1%

Figure A

Cumulative percent change in real annual wages, by wage group, 1979–2020

Year Bottom 90% 90th–95th 95th–99th Top 1%
1979 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
1980 -2.2% -1.3% -0.2% 3.4%
1981 -2.6% -1.1% -0.1% 3.1%
1982 -3.9% -0.9% 2.2% 9.5%
1983 -3.7% 0.7% 3.6% 13.6%
1984 -1.8% 2.5% 6.0% 20.7%
1985 -1.0% 4.0% 8.1% 23.0%
1986 1.1% 6.4% 12.5% 32.6%
1987 2.1% 7.4% 15.0% 53.5%
1988 2.2% 8.2% 18.4% 68.7%
1989 1.8% 8.1% 18.2% 63.3%
1990 1.1% 7.1% 16.5% 64.8%
1991 0.0% 6.9% 15.5% 53.6%
1992 1.5% 9.0% 19.2% 74.3%
1993 0.9% 9.2% 20.6% 67.9%
1994 2.0% 11.2% 21.0% 63.4%
1995 2.8% 12.2% 24.1% 70.2%
1996 4.1% 13.6% 27.0% 79.0%
1997 7.0% 16.9% 32.3% 100.6%
1998 11.0% 21.3% 38.2% 113.1%
1999 13.2% 25.0% 42.9% 129.7%
2000 15.3% 26.8% 48.0% 144.8%
2001 15.7% 29.0% 46.4% 130.4%
2002 15.6% 29.0% 43.2% 109.3%
2003 15.7% 30.3% 44.9% 113.9%
2004 15.6% 30.8% 47.1% 127.2%
2005 11.0% 26.2% 43.5% 127.1%
2006 11.6% 27.8% 46.7% 134.8%
2007 16.7% 34.1% 55.4% 156.2%
2008 11.9% 29.4% 48.3% 129.0%
2009 16.0% 35.3% 53.5% 116.2%
2010 15.2% 35.7% 55.7% 130.8%
2011 14.5% 36.2% 56.9% 134.0%
2012 14.6% 36.3% 58.3% 148.3%
2013 15.1% 37.1% 59.4% 137.5%
2014 16.6% 38.7% 62.3% 149.0%
2015 20.5% 43.1% 67.9% 156.2%
2016 21.0% 43.5% 68.1% 148.1%
2017 22.2% 44.2% 69.3% 157.3%
2018 23.9% 45.7% 71.3% 157.8%
2019 26.0% 51.8% 75.1% 160.3%
2020 28.2% 53.9% 83.1% 179.3%
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Source: EPI analysis of Kopczuk, Saez, and Song (2007, Table A3) and Social Security Administration wage statistics.

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Table 1

Change in annual wages, by wage group, 1979–2020

Percent change
Average annual wages (2020 dollars) Long-term Over 2007–2020 business cycle
Wage group 1979 2007 2009 2019 2020 1979–2007 1979–2020 2007–2009 2009–2020 2019–2020 2007–2020
Bottom 90% $31,265 $36,475 $36,253 $39,409 $40,085 16.7% 28.2% -0.6% 10.6% 1.7% 9.9%
90th–99th $102,262 $148,614 $148,228 $167,851 $173,176 45.3% 69.3% -0.3% 16.8% 3.2% 16.5%
90th–95th $86,717 $116,257 $117,345 $131,620 $133,482 34.1% 53.9% 0.9% 13.8% 1.4% 14.8%
95th–99th $121,694 $189,061 $186,832 $213,139 $222,793 55.4% 83.1% -1.2% 19.2% 4.5% 17.8%
Upper 5% $156,348 $302,375 $276,985 $324,092 $342,987 93.4% 119.4% -8.4% 23.8% 5.8% 13.4%
Upper 1% $294,966 $755,627 $637,597 $767,902 $823,763 156.2% 179.3% -15.6% 29.2% 7.3% 9.0%
99.0th⁠–⁠99.9th $254,760 $502,071 $459,165 $528,308 $558,349 97.1% 119.2% -8.5% 21.6% 5.7% 11.2%
99.9th–100th $656,823 $3,037,633 $2,243,480 $2,924,246 $3,212,486 362.5% 389.1% -26.1% 43.2% 9.9% 5.8%
Average $40,296 $53,759 $52,345 $58,254 $59,900 33.4% 48.6% -2.6% 14.4% 2.8% 11.4%

Source: EPI analysis of Kopczuk, Saez, and Song (2007) and Social Security Administration wage statistics.

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Table 2

Change in wage groups' shares of total wages, 1979–2020

Change in share (ppt.)
Share of wages Long-term Over 2007–2020 business cycle
Wage group 1979 2007 2009 2019 2020 1979–2007 1979–2020 2007–2009 2009–2020 2019–2020 2007–2020
Bottom 90% 69.8% 61.1% 62.3% 60.9% 60.2% -8.8 -9.6 1.3 -2.1 -0.7 -0.8
90th–99th 22.8% 24.9% 25.5% 25.9% 26.0% 2.0 3.2 0.6 0.5 0.1 1.1
90th–95th 10.8% 10.8% 11.2% 11.3% 11.1% 0.1 0.4 0.4 -0.1 -0.2 0.3
95th–99th 12.1% 14.1% 14.3% 14.6% 14.9% 2.0 2.8 0.2 0.6 0.2 0.8
Upper 5% 19.4% 28.1% 26.5% 27.8% 28.6% 8.7 9.2 -1.7 2.2 0.8 0.5
Upper 1% 7.3% 14.1% 12.2% 13.2% 13.8% 6.7 6.4 -1.9 1.6 0.6 -0.3
99.0th⁠–⁠99.9th 5.7% 8.4% 7.9% 8.2% 8.4% 2.7 2.7 -0.5 0.5 0.2 0.0
99.9th⁠–⁠100th 1.6% 5.7% 4.3% 5.0% 5.4% 4.0 3.7 -1.4 1.1 0.3 -0.3

Source: EPI analysis of Kopczuk, Saez and Song (2007) and Social Security Administration wage statistics.

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