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Income Gap Widens 10% Over Past 20 Years; Divide Growing Fastest Among 35 to 44 Year-Olds

Monday, December 09, 2013

Income Gap Widens 10% Over Past 20 Years; Divide Growing Fastest Among 35 to 44 Year-Olds

08:00 EST Monday, December 09, 2013

NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The income gap in America is growing fastest among 35 to 44 year-olds, according to a new Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE) report. Within this age group, the divide grew 21% from 1992 to 2012. That is higher than any other age group and more than double the average increase for all age groups (10%).

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Ages 35 to 44 are the prime earning years for many people and arguably the most important for solidifying future wealth. There is still time to save for retirement, but financial pressures such as homeownership, children and aging parents abound. So while some members of this group are quickly advancing toward becoming rich, others are just as quickly falling behind.

"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."

These years can either build a bridge to a successful retirement or leave people well short of their goals. "We're seeing a tale of two retirements," Kahn says. The 65-plus age group has long exhibited the widest income gap, although it only rose three percent from 1992 to 2012.

The income gap among 45-54 year-olds rose 18% over the past 20 years, second only to the 21% increase observed among 35-44 year-olds.

The bottom fifth of American households earn $11,490 annually on average; the next fifth earn $29,696; the middle tier earn $51,179; the next $82,098; and the top tier, $181,905.

Click here for the full report:

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/economics/income-gap-widening-1.aspx

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Bankrate.com analyzed the household incomes reported to the United States Census Bureau as part of their Current Population surveys from 1992 to 2012. The ages refer to the age of the primary householder, and the income includes the total household income. Data was analyzed using a set of codes developed by Mark L. Burkey, a professor of economics at North Carolina A&T State University.

About Bankrate, Inc.Bankrate is a leading publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. The Bankrate network includes Bankrate.com, our flagship website, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including CreditCards.com, Interest.com, Bankaholic.com, Mortgage-calc.com, CreditCardGuide.com, Nationwide Card Services, InsuranceQuotes.com, CarInsuranceQuotes.com, InsureMe, Bankrate.com.cn, CreditCards.ca, NetQuote.com, and CD.com. Bankrate aggregates rate information from over 4,800 institutions on more than 300 financial products. With coverage of nearly 600 local markets in all 50 U.S. states, Bankrate generates over 172,000 distinct rate tables capturing on average over three million pieces of information daily. Bankrate develops and provides web services to over 80 co-branded websites with online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites on the Internet such as Yahoo!, AOL, CNBC, and Bloomberg. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to over 500 newspapers on a daily basis including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe.

For more information:

Caroline FarhatPublicist Bankrate, Inc.caroline.farhat@bankrate.com(917) 368-8638

SOURCE Bankrate, Inc.

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