Income Gap Widening Fastest For Those In Prime Earning Years

A report by financial publisher Bankrate finds income inequality in America is growing fastest among men and women between the ages of 35 and 44.

Between 1992 and 2012, the income gap among Americans as a whole widened by 10%. The study found that, for 35-to-44 year olds, the gap widened by more than 20% over the same period.

“These are folks who are just entering their prime earning years.”

Chris Kahn is a research analyst with He says the last time this group experienced such a wide gap in earnings was just before the Great Depression.

“We’re talking about 10% enjoying about one-half or so of the nation’s income. That dropped considerably during World War II and stayed low until the ’70s.  But now it’s creeping back up again. And in fact, by some measurements, we’re now at the same level of inequality that we were during the ’20s.”

Kahn says the income gap is holding back consumption for many in this age group. Over the long term, it will make it harder for them to retire.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...