Fifty-three percent of American wage-earners, or just under 82 million people, earn less than $30,000 per year. The average earnings of those 82 million Americans is $12,500 per year.
If those of the 54th to the 99th percentile by income are defined as the American middle class, the average earnings of middle class Americans is $50,241.
The top one percent of American wage-earners get just over one quarter as much in aggregate as the middle 45%, and slightly less even than the poorest 54%, but individually, they’re doing OK, each earning, on average, $1,865,065 per year.
At the tippy top, the highest paid earners, all 93 of them, earned an average of $79,783,529.22 in 2011, which however, must be only a very small fraction of their total income which will have been mainly derived from investments.
International comparisons indicate that income per capita is still higher in America than almost every other country and is only exceeded by that of oil (Qatar, Brunei, Norway), banking (Switzerland, Luxembourg) or city (HongKong, Singapore) states.
By inequality of income distribution, the United States ranks high on the GINI index, alongside, El Salvador, and Peru, Ruanda and Cameroon, Russia and the UK. At the other end of the spectrum are wealthy countries such as Slovenia and Germany, Australia and Switzerland, suggesting that income inequality is not an overriding causal factor in the determination of national wealth.