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Who's in the top 1 percent of earners?

Yes, "how much do you make?" is a rude question. See, mom, I did pay some attention when you tried to instill some manners in me!

But with the Occupy Wall Street protesters focusing on income disparity, it's a question many of us are asking.

More specifically, we want to know what we have to do to make it into the elite 1 percent category.

It depends upon whose data you use.

My story today on examines various calculations to arrive at America's top earnings level.

But it you want to go by the Internal Revenue Service's figures, and being a tax geek that's what I did, then an adjusted gross income in 2009 of $343,927 or more put you among the top earners.

Is just under $350,000 a year enough for you to consider yourself rich?

Again, it depends, this time on where you live and just how long your "when I win the lottery" wish list is!

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Tax Attorney

Wonderful post, i appreciate reading things that are informative from fellow practitioners.


that pulled highlight was from the study that actually said (in the story proper) 44% of households. Assuming more than 1/household, you get a larger number.


As a numbers guy I'm always curious how these things break out. The implication here is that it's just the top 1% that are considered rich. Where Obama tends to stay with the $250K/yr number, which I believe is about the top 2%.

One point of confusion. The Bankrate article cites "Roughly 44 percent of New York City residents made the top 1 percent in 2007." With 8M people, I'd assume half are kids (less?) so even 1M earners? If there are only 1.4M in this top 1% (also from article) I'm not sure how this reconciles. Do that many high earners flock to NYC?

As far as whether $350K can be spent without a lavish life, I really can see it. Pull out taxes (Federal alone $93K) $50K to retirement savings, a chunk to mortgage and property tax, and the number whittle down fast, especially in the cities you mentioned.

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