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Income Gap Between Rich and Poor Widest on Record

New Census data has been released showing that in 2009, the gap between rich and poor has grown. What that means is Americans making more than $100,000 a year (roughly the top 20 percent of income earners) received 49.4% of all income generated in the U.S.. For those below the poverty line, they earned 3.4%, meaning the ratio is 14.5-to-1—up from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968. The international Gini index found that the U.S. has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations.

As expected, 2009 wasn't a good year for those already struggling. The share of Americans below half the poverty line — $10,977 for a family of four — rose from 5.7% in 2008 to 6.3%. It was the highest level since the government began tracking that group in 1975. Also the poverty gap between young and old has doubled since 2000. Of course when you're talking about numbers, there is a lot of meaning behind them and factors to take into consideration. For example, those 65 and older had Social Security kick in and help them out—part of the growing economic divide. To read more, check out this article in USA Today.

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