The New York Times has an interesting article in Sunday’s paper about the lifestyles of America’s much-discussed 1%. Even more interesting is the accompanying interactive tool that lets you find out what percent your household income puts you in down to the local level.
A household income of $331,181 a year puts you in the 1% in the Providence metropolitan area, according to University of Minnesota Population Center data analyzed by The Times. An annual income of $50,500 puts you in the top half of all Providence area households. If the middle class is defined as the middle two quartiles of the income distribution, around here it includes everyone who makes between $23,377 and $86,998 a year. (The Providence metro area also includes Fall River in this case.)
The threshold for entering the 1% is lower in Providence than it is nationally and varies widely around the country, The Times says:
The range of wealth in the 1 percent is vast — from households that bring in $380,000 a year, according to census data, up to billionaires like Warren E. Buffett and Bill Gates. …
It may take $380,000 to be in the national 1 percent, but it takes $900,000 to be among the top 1 percent of earners in Stamford, Conn. Compared with that, the price of admission to the 1 percent in Clarksville, Tenn., is a bargain at $200,000. Of course, the cutoff is only one measure, and perhaps not the most telling one. The average income of the 1 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center, is $1.5 million, and the superrich — the 120,000 tax filers that make up the top tenth of this group — earned an estimated average of $6.8 million in 2011.