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President Donald Trump had a news conference at the InterContinental Barclay New York Hotel during the UN General Assembly, on September 25, 2019 in New York City, U.S. (Photo: Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Day After Trump Said 'Inequality Is Down,' Federal Data Shows US Income Inequality Highest Since Census Began Measuring

"The separation between rich and poor from 2017 and 2018 was greater than it has ever been."

Jake Johnson, staff writer

Federal data released Thursday showed U.S. income inequality in 2018 reached the highest level since the Census Bureau began measuring it five decades ago, a finding that comes less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump said "inequality is down."

The Census survey found that the nation's Gini Index—which measures inequality on a 0 to 1 scale, with 0 representing perfect equality—reached 0.485 in 2018.

In 1967, the U.S. Gini Index was 0.397.

"The separation between rich and poor from 2017 and 2018 was greater than it has ever been," the Washington Post reported. "The gulf is starkest in wealthy coastal areas such as Washington, D.C., New York, Connecticut, and California, as well as in areas with widespread poverty, such as Puerto Rico and Louisiana."

The Census data contradicts Trump's claim Wednesday that inequality is declining under his administration after he pushed tax cuts and other policies that disproportionately rewarded the wealthiest Americans.

"Wages are up, and inequality is down," Trump said during a press conference following the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. "Something that people don't like writing about."

Wages have increased slightly in recent years. But, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), "nominal wage growth has been far below target in the recovery."

Donna Ginther, an economist at the University of Kansas, echoed that point in response to the new Census data.

"We've had a period of sustained economic growth, and there are winners and losers. The winners tend to be at the top," Ginther told USA Today. "Even though we are at full employment, wages really haven’t gone up much in the recovery."


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US and Israel Vote 'No' as 184 Nations Condemn American Blockade of Cuba

"The U.N. vote... on Cuba was a chance for President Biden to show global leadership," said CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin. "He failed miserably."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


With Planet's Future at Stake, Biden Told to Be Bold With Pick for Top Energy Post

"It's time to treat climate change like the emergency it is, and stop approving new fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure, reads a letter signed by over 300 climate-focused groups.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


SCOTUS Solidifies Students' Free Speech Protections, Upholding Right to Say 'F**k Cheer'

"The message from this ruling is clear—free speech is for everyone, and that includes public school students."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Rules Union Organizing on Farms Violates Landowners' Rights

The Supreme Court "fails to balance a farmer's property rights with a farm worker's human rights," said United Farm Workers of America.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


Lawmakers Tell Biden US Has 'Moral Obligation' to Ban Landmines

"If the United States takes these steps it will be welcomed around the world."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·