Money

Bernie Sanders made more than $1 million last year—here's how much it takes to be in the top 1%

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event on the campus of Indiana University
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Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event on the campus of Indiana University

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had a surprisingly good financial year in 2016. While the Democratic socialist was warning against the concentration of wealth in the hands of "the top 1 percent," he was also joining their ranks.

Though his annual income of $200,000 still makes him one of the least wealthy senators, "the former Democratic presidential candidate made some $858,750 off book royalties alone last year," Newsweek reports. "Combined with his Senate salary, he likely cleared $1 million in earnings."

That would place Sanders — whose website says that "the issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time" — in the unusual position of being among the top 1 percent of earners in the U.S.

Just how much do you have to pull in to join the champion of the working class in the 1 percent club?

According to a 2013 Economic Policy Institute report, "a family needs an income of $389,436." In affluent metropolitan areas, however, the threshold is much higher. In New York City, for example, you need an annual income of $672,795 to be in the 1 percent. In San Francisco, it's $785,946.

Keep in mind that these numbers just represent the threshold — the average income of the top 1 percent nationwide is $1.15 million.

People in the rest of the nation, on the other hand, earn an average of $45,567 a year. That means, in 2013, "the top 1 percent of families earned 25.3 times as much income as the bottom 99 percent," the EPI reports.

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