Aug 7, 2023 - News

How much money you need to be among N.C.'s 1%

Data: SmartAsset; Map: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

North Carolina's top 1% of earners make at least $560,000 — one of the lowest thresholds in the country to be considered among the richest in a state, according to a new SmartAsset analysis of IRS tax filer data.

  • That's nearly $100,000 less than the national average of $653,000.

State of play: Southern states have some of the country's lowest income thresholds for their top 1%, our colleague Karri Peifer writes, but N.C. is far above states like West Virginia, where the state's wealthiest make above some $368,000.

  • And we're just ahead of South Carolina, where the threshold to be in the 1% is a little more than $508,000.

Zoom in: The median income in North Carolina is just under $62,000, per census data.

  • 7% of our households bring in more than $200,000. Meanwhile, 13.4% of residents — and 18% of children — are below the poverty line.

Zoom out: You have to be rich rich — making more than $952,902 — to be considered the 1% in Connecticut, where the income threshold is the highest of any state.

  • Washington, D.C., where people in the top 1% make more than $1 million, would take first place if it were a state.

The big picture: The top 1% of U.S. families held more than a third of the country's total wealth in 2019, up from 27% in 1989, the Congressional Budget Office reported last year.

  • Households in the bottom half of the distribution held only 2% of the country's wealth.

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