If you are looking to be in the top 1 percent income-wise in Luzerne County, you need to earn at least $270,058 a year, according to a new report.
That may sound like a lot, but there are 31 counties in Pennsylvania where you would need to boost your income by a lot more. In fact if you move to Montgomery County, you would have to make nearly three times as much — $879,563 — to be a one-percenter.
The numbers come from the Economic Policy Institute, an organization that declares its mission is “to seek solutions that ensure broadly shared prosperity and opportunity.” Dubbed “The New Gilded Age,” the report looks at income for the top 1 percent and bottom 99 percent in each state and in most counties nationwide.
That data includes the threshold at which someone in each county enters the top one percent. Among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, Luzerne County’s threshold is middling: 32nd highest.
If you want to become a one-percenter fast, Mifflin County is the place to move. It ranks 67th, with a one-percent threshold at $$186,607.
The report also calculates a ratio comparing the average income for the top one percent to the average income for the other 99 percent. In Luzerne County, that’s $559,385 compared to $39,930, for a ratio of 14 — the top earners average 14 times more than everyone else.
Don’t feel too bad, though, the gap is much larger in Montgomery County: $2.6 million compared to $84,174, or 31 times more. On the other hand, Perry County’s wealthiest one percent make only 8.2 times as much as everyone else, $364,473 compared to $44,367.
Overall, the report said the top one percent of families in the country on average earned 26.3 times as much as the bottom 99 percent and that the gap has gotten worse since 2013, when the top earned 25.3 times as everybody else.
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READ THE FULL REPORT online by scanning the photo above using the TL Step Inside app with your mobile device.
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish