NPR logo On Tax Day, A Look At The Very Rich


On Tax Day, A Look At The Very Rich

Here, courtesy of the IRS, is some interesting data on how taxes of nation's top 400 earners each year have changed over the years.

Between 2002 and 2007, the top earners' income went way, way, up — from an average of $104 million to $345 million. (That's the most recent year available; we'll see when the IRS updates the data how things changed during the crisis.) Top earners also paid more taxes in absolute terms. But in percentage terms, the top earners' tax rate fell over the period.

We put together two graphs to tell the story of how these trends have emerged over the past few decades. Here's how the average income and average tax of the top 400 earners has changed:

tax rate

And here's how the average tax rate has changed for the top 400:

income and tax

Hat tip: The Big Picture/WSJ Real Time Economics. Graphs by Alexander Hotz.

Correction: The numbers in the Y axis on the first graph were incorrectly labeled in an earlier version of this post.

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