What Happened in the mid-1990s? The growth of wealth and its concentration from 1980 to today

Matt Kuenzel
Apr 10, 2023

The growth of wealth since 1980

The market cap of the largest US company has grown rapidly since 1980:

Market cap of largest US companies by year

And the wealth of the richest American has also grown rapidly since 1980:

Net worth of richest Americans by year

Market caps have even grown substantially relative to average income:

Ratio of market cap of largest US company to average US income

Similarly, wealth of the richest American has grown substantially relative to average income:

Ratio of wealth of richest American to average US income

And relative to US GDP:

Conclusion: Something happened in the mid-1990s.

Companies and individuals on the same trajectory

But, the ratio of market cap and wealth has stayed roughly the same since the mid-1990s:

What Happened in the mid-1990s?

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