Economic Justice Facts & Figures

In 2018, the world’s billionaires got richer by $2.5 billion — a day, while the poorest half of humanity got poorer by $500 million, each day.


There are now 2 times as many billionaires as there were at the time of the financial crisis in 2008.


A new billionaire is created every 2 days and they are paying lower tax rates than they have been in decades. Meanwhile 10,000 people die each day because they can’t afford healthcare.


The world’s richest are hiding $200 billion in tax revenue, while 262 million children are left out of school.


The world’s top 26 individual billionaires now own as much as the poorest 3.8 billion people.


Getting the richest 1% to pay just 0.5% extra tax on their wealth, could raise more money than is needed to educate all 262 million children out of school & provide healthcare to save the lives of 3.3 million people.


Since 2000, there has been 170% increase in the number of millionaires in the world.

Over the past 17 years, there has been a 5 time increase of “ultra-high net worth individuals” (possess more than $50 million).

The world’s richest 1% people own 50.1% of the global household wealth.

The Gini Index is a measure of household incomes. The Index ranges from 0 — indicating perfect equality, to 1 — indicating perfect inequality. According to the Gini Index, the U.S. value has increased from .460 to .480. The U.S. territories with the highest inequality are: Puerto Rico with a score of .542 (similar to Mozambique), the District of Columbia with a score of .524 (similar to Honduras) and New York with a score of .513 (similar to Angola). Over 100 countries, including all of Europe, have better Gini scores than any state.


Seven of the 10 states with the highest poverty rates in the U.S. are in the South. That includes Mississippi (20.8% of population below the poverty line); Louisiana (20%), Kentucky (18.5%), West Virginia (17.9%), Arkansas (17.2%), Alabama (17.1%) and Georgia (16%)

14% of seniors in the U.S. live in poverty and 16% of children.

Poverty USA

The addition of Social Security benefits has contributed more to reduce poverty than any other factor.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

11% of Millennials live in poverty.

National Women’s Law Center

Of the 41 wealthiest countries in the world, the U.S. ranks 6th highest of children living in poverty with 23%.

United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund

According to a 2016 study by the Urban Institute, teenagers in low income communities are often forced to join gangs, save school lunches, sell drugs or exchange sexual favors because they cannot afford food.

There are around 553,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night

US Department of Housing and Urban Development

About 1.4 million people, or about .5% of the U.S. population, used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program in the past year.

US Interagency Council on Homelessness 

Around 44% of homeless people are employed.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development

In 2016, the International Monetary Fund warned the United States that its high poverty rate needs to be tackled urgently by raising the minimum wage and offering paid maternity leave to women to encourage them to enter the labor force.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines “deep poverty” as living in a household with a total cash income below 50% of its poverty threshold. For a family of 3, poverty is defined as $16.50 per person, per day so “extreme poverty” is $8.30 per person, per day. In 2016 18 million people lived in deep poverty. Those in deep poverty represented 5% of the total population and 45% of those in poverty.

National Poverty Center

America’s top 10% average more than 9 times as much income as the bottom 90%. And Americans in the top 1% average over 40 times more income than the bottom 90%.

The Balance

Of the 195 countries in the world, the U.S. ranks 51st in inequality.

The World Bank

The income gap between whites and minorities in the U.S. has persisted. The difference in median household incomes between whites is $70,642. For Hispanics, it’s $51,450 and for blacks it’s $41,692.

Economic Policy Institute

Americans are relatively unconcerned about the wide income gap between rich and poor. Americans in the top 20% of the income distribution earn 16 times as much as those in the lowest 20% — by far the widest such gap among the 10 advanced countries. 47% of Americans think the rich-poor gap is a very big problem. Among advanced countries, only Australians expressed a lower level of concern.

Pew Research Center

Wealth inequality is even greater than income inequality. While the highest-earning 20% of U.S. families earned 59% of all income, the richest 20% held 88% of all wealth.

Pew Research Center

The children of high and low income families are born with similar abilities but rapidly diverge in outcomes. By age 4, children in the 20% highest income families score in the 69th percentile on tests of literacy and mathematics, while children in the 20% lowest income score in the 34th and 32nd percentile. Research suggests that these differences arise largely due to factors related to a child’s home environment and family’s socioeconomic status—a combination of income, education, and occupation.

Brookings Institute

Ideally Americans think the top 20% richest people in the country should own 32% of the wealth and the bottom 40% of the population should own 25%.

Americans believe though that the richest 20% own 59% of the wealth and that the bottom 40% own 9%.

The reality however is that the top 20% of US households own more than 84% of the wealth, and the bottom 40% combine for 0.3%. The Walton family, for example, has more wealth than 42% of American families combined.

Scientific American

The average American estimates that the CEO-to-worker pay-ratio is 30-to-1, and that ideally, it would be 7-to-1. The reality is: 354-to-1. 50 years ago, it was 20-to-1.

Scientific American

5% Americans think that inequality is a major problem in need of attention. They believe the economic system unfairly favors the wealthy, but 60% believe that most people can make it if they’re willing to work hard.

Scientific American

44% of the workforce in the U.S. earns under $15 an hour, and 32% earns under $12 an hour.


73% of workers earning less than $15 an hour are older than 25.


42% of children in the U.S. live in a household with at least 1 worker earning under $15 an hour.


About 33% of parents earning low wages are single parents.


Home Care Aides

The median age of the more than 1.4 million home care aides in the US is 45. Nearly 50% graduated from high school and have had some college education. The majority work full-time. However, with a median wage of $10.25 an hour, 54% live near poverty. This is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the US, projected to increase by 26% in the next 10 years.