Inequalities galore

Published: Saturday 15 November 1997

IF a report recently published in the us is to be believed, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer over the last year in the us. Family incomes rose overall, with the wealthiest families gaining the most while the poor saw their incomes actually decline by nearly two per cent.

Statistics released by the us Census Bureau say that despite robust econom-ic growth in the us, the number of fami-lies with annual incomes below the official poverty line remained roughly the same in 1996 at about 36.5 million or 13.7 per cent of all households. According to these studies, the us suffers from the greatest inequalities among all developed countries in the world. Although the median household income increased by 1.2 per cent, most of the gain went to the middle and higher income groups. Thus, the highest 20 per cent of income earners gained 2.2 per cent during the year. Income of the lowest fifth fell by 1.8 per cent, while the remaining one-fifth gained only 0.5 per cent, according to a report on money income.

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