These are pretty cool:
Among the key takeaways from this figure: U.S. inequality follows a U-shaped pattern, with a number of measures of inequality falling in the 1930s and 1940s, and then rising since the 1970s. For example,
“the top decile of earnings has risen from 150 per cent of median in 1950 to 244 per cent in 2012.” The table also suggests some puzzles. For example, the share of total wealth held by the top 1%, based on estate data, doesn’t seem to have risen in the last few decades along with inequality of incomes. The dispersion of earnings as measured by the top decile starts rising in the 1950s, but the overall inequality of earnings doesn’t seem to start rising until the 1970s–presumably because during the 1950s and 1960s, there was declining inequality at the bottom of the income distribution, as seen in the falling poverty rate, to offset rising dispersion of incomes at the top.
They don’t take into account well-known discontinuities, and wealth data is notoriously inaccurate, but interesting stuff. One welcome side-effect of the progressive fetish with this issue is that lots of cool data is getting collected and visualized.
I’d also add that global poverty and inequality are shrinking. Looking at single countries doesn’t tell the story.
see also: Sweden.