NEW YORK — Want to be part of the Top 1%? Move to Arkansas. The bar is much lower there.
It takes $228,298 to get into the upper echelon in Arkansas, according to a report from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
But in Connecticut, which has the highest threshold, it takes $677,608 to make it into that elite group. Researchers looked at IRS data for 2012 tax returns by state.
The average income of the top 1% in Iowa is $855,918 and it would take an income of $325,066 to join the club.
The Top 1% has been pulling away from the rest of the country as their incomes skyrocket. The trend is even more pronounced in certain states.
In 16 states, they captured all the income growth between 2009 and 2012. In another 22 states, more than half the income gains went to those highest on the income ladder.
Only West Virginia saw the income of the Top 1% decline, while that of the Bottom 99% increased.
Connecticut has the widest spread between the average income for the Top 1% and the average income for the rest of the state. They make 51 times that of the rest of their neighbors ($2.7 million vs. $52,600). On the flip side, Hawaii has the narrowest spread at only 14.6.
In Iowa, the top 1% earns 18 times more than the average income of the bottom 99%, according to the study.
The Northeast generally has the biggest gap between the Top 1% and everyone else, thanks to the prominence of the financial industry in the New York metro area. The Midwest, meanwhile, has long had a smaller differential, possibly due to the strength of unions in the manufacturing industries there.