Jewish Journal

You’re a 99 Percenter if Your Household Earns Less than $506,553 a Year

by Pini Herman

October 17, 2011 | 10:52 am

Occupy LA Sukkah at LA City Hall posted on facebook.com/occupyjudaism

According to the Tax Policy Center, the annual income threshold for entering the top 1 percent of U.S. household income is $506,553.

So how many Jews earn more than a half million dollars a year?  Probably less than a third of the highest income income category or less than 3 percent.  So most Jews can look around and assure themselves that they are part of the 97 percent if not the 99 percent.

By my estimate in the U.S. Jews constitute about 6 percent of the 1,175,000 U.S. households who together own approximately 40 percent of the wealth of the country, but Jews are disproportionately represented among the wealthy who have come out for greater taxation of their own wealth.

Jews seem to be well represented at OccupyLA.  Jewish median household income for Los Angeles in 1996 was $52,050. (Median household income is the figure that half of incomes are above and half are below.) In 1978, the median income (adjusted to 1996 dollars) was $47,685, pointing to an improvement.  If no change in Jewish household incomes occurred in the past 14 years, 1996’s Jewish median income updated to 2011 is $75,200 compared to $57,400 for all LA households.

In Los Angeles of 1996 there were a third more Jewish households, 9.4 percent, in lowest income categories of below $14,400 (in 2011 dollars) than the 6.8 percent households earning at or above $289,000 (in 2011 dollars).  The largest group, 33 percent,  were earning between $72,000 and $144,400 (in 2011 dollars).

Pini Herman is immediate past President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area. To email Pini: pini00003@gmail.com

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Bruce Phillips is Professor of Sociology and Jewish Communal Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles. He has conducted Jewish population...

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