A study published today by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities found that income equality has grown since the late 1970s, that income for wealthier households has increased faster than lower-income households after the recent recession, and that wide gaps remain between high-income households and poor and middle-income households.
In the state-level analysis for Tennessee, income declined 12.1% for the bottom 20% of Tennessee's households from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s. From 1970 to the mid 2000s, income for the poorest 20% grew by 11.8% as compared to 60.7% for the wealthiest 20%. Tennessee ranks 9th in income inequality between the top 20% and the middle 20%.
Reasons cited for the income gaps include wage inequality, expansion of investment income, and government policy on such things as taxes cuts, collective bargaining, the minimum wage, and trade agreements.
Full Report: A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends
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