Income Inequality in Rhode Island: A Snapshot

The newly released Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report, How State Tax Policies Can Stop Increasing Inequality and Start Reducing It, shows that the concentration of income among the wealthiest residents is striking in every state. Over the last three decades, income gains in the American economy have accrued largely to the richest households, while many middle and lower-income Americans haven’t shared in the nation’s growing prosperity.

Rhode Island is among the states with the highest income inequality in the country, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Rhode Island ranks 19th in the country, with its richest residents— the top 5 percent of households— having average incomes 14 times as large as the bottom 20 percent of households and 4 times as large as the middle 20 percent of households. The top 5 percent of Ocean State households receive 18 percent of the state’s income, even without counting capital gains.

The Center has created a Rhode Island-specific fact sheet highlighting the stark contrast of income in the Ocean State.