Home > Political Economy, The Economy > 20 graphs showing inequality in the USA

20 graphs showing inequality in the USA

Below are 20 graphs from The Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality showing inequality, and in the main increasing inequality, in the United States.  Clicking on any graph will take you to a page at the Stanford Center that explains the graph and gives sources.  The 20 graphs are: Wage Inequality, CEO Pay, Wealth Inequality, Education Wage Premium, Gender Pay Gaps, Occupational Sex Segregation, Racial Gaps in Education, Racial Discrimination, Poverty, Residential Segregation, Health Insurance, Intragenerational Income Mobility, Bad Jobs, Discouraged Workers, Homelessness, Intergenerational Income Mobility, Deregulation of the Labor Market, Job Losses, Immigrants and Inequality, and Productivity and Real Income. 

 Wage Inequality
Fact 1 image is missing

CEO pay
Fact 2 image is missing

Wealth Inequality

Fact 3 image is missing

 Education Wage Premium
Fact 4 image is missing

Gender Pay Gaps
Fact 5 image is missing

Occupational Sex Segregation
Fact 6 image is missing

Racial Gaps in Education

Fact 7 image is missing

Racial Discrimination
Fact 8 image is missing

Fact 9 image is missing

Residential Segregation

Fact 10 image is missing

 Health Insurance
Fact 11 image is missing

 Intragenerational Income Mobility
Fact 12 image is missing

Bad Jobs
Fact 13 image is missing

Discourage Workers
Fact 14 image is missing


Fact 15 image is missing


Intergenerational Income Mobility
Fact 16 image is missing


Deregulation of the Labor Market
Fact 17 image is missing

Job Losses
Fact 18 image is missing

Immigrants and Inequality
Fact 19 image is missing 

 Productivity and Real Income
Fact 20 image is missing

  1. April 7, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Useful and interesting.

  2. Allen Cookson
    April 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    In my search of the web for information on the Tinbergen Norm the definitions always look like the following:

    “Tinbergen became known for his ‘Tinbergen Norm’, which states that if the difference between the lowest and highest income in a company exceeds a rate of 1:5, that will not help the company and may indeed be counterproductive.”

    I am totally at a loss as to what this appalling English/meaningless mathematics is intended to mean. Maybe it’s a clumsy translation from Dutch. Can anyone help? Also I am unable to find Tinbergen’s original paper/book with this work in it. Can you tell me it’s title,etc.? It doesn’t matter if it is Dutch as I have plenty of Dutch friends.
    If you are unable to help me I’d be grateful if you could refer me to someone who may be able to.

    • Adelaja
      September 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Allen believe me i thought I was the only one,all my effort to get a mathematical or a heuristic proof has proved futile….it nearly got me paranoid.please do not hesitate to contact me of any recent development.thanks.

    • September 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      Leaving aside redundant words, the mathematics simply says that if the the ratio of lowest to highest incomes exceeds 1:5 (i.e if the highest income divided by the lowest is greater than 5) this is likely to be counterproductive. I don’t think this is a mathematical theory, it is an empirical norm or rule of thumb: what is found in good practice, though implied by the lowest income being sufficient (meaning the highest is reaching the region of diminishing returns). Interestingly, there is a corresponding rule of thumb in management about not directly supervising more than six people, and one in psychology about the number of numerical digits it is possible to remember – hence the human practice of breaking telephone numbers into memorable sections.

      • September 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm

        This may be relevant: http://www.coleurope.eu/website/research/academic-chairs/jan-tinbergen-chair-european-economics.

        “Jan TINBERGEN was awarded the first Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1969, which he shared with Ragnar Frisch for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes. Jan Tinbergen became known for his ‘Tinbergen rule’ which states that, in order to achieve a certain number of policy targets, it is necessary to control an equal number of policy instruments.”

        So were income to enable one to have more than five fingers in different pies, one would be unable to control them all effectively? And mathematically, would one need to when [from memory] a five-dimensional hypergeometric function enables one to simulate any differentiable function?

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