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Income gap grows

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The gap in income between North Carolina’s richest and poorest families is growing and now ranks as the nation’s 10th-worst, a new study says.

The report, “Pulling Apart: A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends,” was conducted by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute, both of Washington, D.C.

The report analyzes and compares modified census data from the early 1980s, early 1990s and early 2000s for all states.

In the early 2000s, average income for the richest 20 percent of North Carolina families was $110,180, compared to $14,884 for the poorest 20 percent, and $41,448 for the middle 20 percent, the report says.

For the wealthiest 5 percent, with average income of $183,253, the gap was even wider.

And those gaps widened from the early 80s to the early 2000s.

Income for the richest 20 percent of families grew by $2,060 a year after adjusting for inflation, compared to $105 a year for the poorest families and $430 a year for the middle 20 percent.

Erosion of wages and incomes over decades is behind the acceleration in the growth of the income gap, the study says.

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