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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

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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Human Rights Defenders Warn Biden Border Policy 'Quickly Transforming Into Trump 2.0'

Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden now being accused of "using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize Covid-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers."

Jon Queally ·


'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·


'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·


Health Minister Says 'Highly Transmissible' Omicron Hitting Young Children Hard in South Africa

In South Africa's worst-affected province, children under the age of five now make up the second-largest group being admitted to hospitals.

Julia Conley ·

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