Household Income Distribution in U.S.

Where exactly is the dividing line between the 99% and the 1%?

With this question in mind, I wanted to see a histogram of household incomes, so I grabbed the data from the latest CPS survey, which includes 2010 income data. Unfortunately, they lump all households above $250,000 in the same category. Looking for other sources, I found that you can generate something called a “Dollar Cut-Off” table from IRS data. (See one at

In terms of Adjusted Gross Income from 2009 returns:

    Top 0.1% starts at $1.4 million
    Top 1.0% starts at $355,000
    Top 5.0% starts at $155,000

So, roughly speaking, the dividing line between the 99% and the 1% is an income level of $350,000.
Granted, this is AGI, and I expect that these folks are paying accountants to minimize taxable income, so their income before adjustments, deductions, and other strategies is likely above $400,000.

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