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If it’ll make you feel better about all that Black Friday shopping, know that personal income rose last year in nearly every corner of the United States, with Texas and the northern Plains States leading the way.
Incomes in 2011 were up year-over-year in all of the nation’s 366 metropolitan statistical areas and 3,062 of the nation’s 3,113 counties, the best showing since 2007, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
On average, personal income in the United States grew 5.2 percent to $41,560 in 2011.
The rich got richer and the poor got poorer in 20 states last year.
The median income last year came in at $50,502, down from $51,144 for 2010; income inequality, using a measure called the Gini coefficient, jumped a statistically significant 1.3 percent in the same 12 months, new census statistics show.
Today, the 400 richest Americans have more money than the 150 million on the bottom of the pay ladder, economist Robert Reich pointed out on moveon.org.
America led the world in wealth again last year, and the ranks of the super-wealthy are growing, according to a new report from Wealth-X.
By Wealth-X’s count, of the 2,160 billionaires in the world, 480 of them are in the U.S., up from 455 a year earlier. These American billionaires are worth $4.3 billion each, on average.
As for your run-of-the-mill “ultra-high net worth” individuals — those people worth $30 million or more — that number climbed to 60,280 people, up from 58,030 a year ago.
It can no longer be dismissed as a fluke: Mitt Romney is better at raising money than President Obama
Romney and the Republican National Committee bested Obama and the Democratic National Committee in fundraising in July, the third straight month Republicans have left Obama’s vaunted money machine in the dust. Romney and the RNC raised $101 million last month, far surpassing the $75 million brought in by Obama and the DNC.
“Once again we see that for many people, this is more than a campaign, it is a cause,” Romney finance director Spencer Zwick said while announcing the figures yesterday.
Mitt Romney trounced President Obama in fundraising last month with a $35 million lead — and the Obama campaign sounds worried.
“We could lose if this continues,” read the subject heading of an email that Obama campaign chief operating officer Ann Marie Habershaw sent to supporters yesterday.
The campaign and the Democratic National Committee claimed a $71 million haul for June, their best fundraising month yet, but a far cry from the $106 million that Romney and the Republican National Committee raked in.
“This is no joke,” Habershaw wrote. “If we can’t keep the money race close, it becomes that much harder to win in November.”
Guess what, compatriots? The gap between the richest and the poorest among us is now wider than it has been since we all nose-dived into the Great Depression. So GQ sent Jon Ronson on a journey into the secret financial lives of six different people on the ladder, from a guy washing dishes for 200 bucks a week in Miami to a self-storage gazillionaire. What he found are some surprising truths about class, money, and making it in America.
Should Americans kiss financial supremacy goodbye? For the first time, Asia has surpassed North America in total millionaires — 3.37 million compared with North America’s 3.35 million.
While the U.S. struggled, China’s millionaire population shot up 5.2 percent to 562,400 last year. Even hurricane-ravaged Japan increased its millionaires by 4.8 percent in 2011.
Overall, there are more millionaires in the world, but they don’t have more money.
The number of seven-figure holders across the globe grew by 0.8 percent to a record 11 million, but the collective wealth of the mega-rich fell by 1.7 percent to $42 trillion. In 2009 and 2010, people worldwide with at least $1 million to invest saw their combined wealth surge by double digits.
Did you know it would take a minimum wage worker 10 weeks to make what the average CEO makes in 1 hour? That’s because profits for big companies and payouts for CEOs broke records last year.
The head of a typical public company made $9.6 million in 2011, according to an analysis by the Associated Press using data from Equilar, an executive pay research firm. That was up more than 6 percent from the previous year. The figure is also the highest since the AP began tracking executive compensation in 2006.
David Simon of Simon Property topped the highest-paid CEO list with a pay package worth more than $137 million for last year.
Did you know that the average dollar bill is so hard-working, it has a lifespan of only about 18 months? In today’s history page, we bring you the long, winding story of American money.
What our early $1 bills lacked in utility, they made up for in color and dramatic graphics. The Bank of Germantown in Philadelphia, for example, released an orange-and-black $1 bill that depicted a group of sailors in a small boat trying to fight off the advances of a polar bear. Other mid-19th-century local bank notes bore portraits of mythological figures, children or even Santa Claus. There was still no national currency when the Civil War broke out in 1861, so Congress approved the issue of $150 million in national “demand notes.” These came in denominations of $5, $10 and $20, and the U.S. government used them to pay for war expenses and the salaries of military personnel. Union bills had distinctive green ink on their reverse side (which contrasted sharply with Confederate currency’s blank reverse side) — and they became popularly known as “greenbacks.”
A breakdown of what the average American household buys, based on government data (PDF) for December, 2011.
We didn’t include everything, but we included the biggies, as well as some smaller categories that caught our eye.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Credit: Lam Thuy Vo / Planet Money
Dear average Americans, please spend more on books, magazines, and newspapers and less on alcohol. Your friend, Newsweek.