How Bad Is America’s Income Gap?

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Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 1.32.24 PMAmericans continue to regain their footing from the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, but the disparity between the rich and poor is still growing with no signs of slowing down.

While the income gap is widening across all age groups in the United States, workers in their prime earning years are experiencing a rapid shortfall. According to a new analysis from Bankrate.com, the income gap among 35 to 44 year-olds is seeing the fastest growth at 21 percent, between 1992 to 2012. That is more than double the average increase of 10 percent seen for all age groups over the same period. The income gap among 45 to 54 year-olds is also very high at 17.6 percent.

“These are key transition years,” according to Chris Kahn, research and statistics analyst for Bankrate.com. “Some of the reasons why the income gap is growing so rapidly within this age group are persistently high unemployment, as well as stagnant wages. This stagnation in income, combined with rising prices, is making it more challenging for people to stay in the middle class or move up.”

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