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Analysis Shows Nearly 80% of US Household Wealth Owned by Millionaires and Billionaires

"If we really want to tackle wealth inequality in this country, it is this wealth that we need to spread around." 

CBS anchor Tony Dokoupil shows Americans the wealth divide. (Photo: CBS/YouTube/screenshot)

CBS anchor Tony Dokoupil shows Americans the wealth divide. (Photo: CBS/YouTube/screenshot)

In an analysis of 2019 government data released Monday, policy analyst and blogger Matt Bruenig found that last year, millionaires and billionaires owned 79.2% of all household wealth in the United States despite constituting just under 12% of the population. 

Bruenig examined triennial data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, which was released Monday by the U.S. Federal Reserve. 

While the share of wealth owned by households with net worths of $1 million or more decreased slightly between 2016 and 2019, it was still much higher than it was in 1989, the year the modern version of the survey began. 

Thirty years ago, millionaires and billionaires owned 60.4% of all household wealth in the U.S.

"If we really want to tackle wealth inequality in this country," Bruenig wrote, "it is this wealth that we need to spread around."

Researchers at the People's Policy Project, where Bruenig is president, have proposed doing so through a social wealth fund

On a day in which the news cycle has been dominated by the revelations of the extent of President Donald Trump's tax evasion, others have focused on calling for the nation's wealthy elite to pay their fair share in taxes. 

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