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The top 1% of Americans now control 38% of the wealth

  • America's top 1% now control 38.6% of the nation's wealth, a historic high, according to a new Federal Reserve Report.
  • Many Americans posted financial gains between 2013 and 2016, but the wealthy gained the most.
  • Gains in the stock market and asset values largely drove the disparity.

America's top 1% now control 38.6% of the nation's wealth, a historic high, according to a new Federal Reserve Report.

The Federal Reserve's Surveys of Consumer Finance shows that Americans throughout the income and wealth ladder posted gains between 2013 and 2016. But the wealthy gained the most, driven largely by gains in the stock market and asset values.

The top 1% saw their share of wealth rise to 38.6% in 2016 from 36.3% in 2013. The next highest nine percent of families fell slightly, and the share of wealth held by the bottom 90% of Americans has been falling steadily for 25 years, hitting 22.8% in 2016 from 33.2% in 1989.

The top income earners also saw the biggest gains. The top 1% saw their share of income rise to a new high of 23.8% from 20.3% in 2013. The income shares of the bottom 90% fell to 49.7% in 2016.

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