But are those at Occupy Wall Street really representing 99 percent of America? Does rich and poor divide itself so starkly in the U.S. that almost all American citizens can be pitted against a hyper-rich population of 1 percent or less?
The Guardian aimed to answer some of these questions in an animated statistics-heavy short by Marian Santos and Simon Rogers. In the video, American wealth distribution is broken down by the numbers, and the resulting statistics are sometimes even more shocking than Occupy Wall Street suggests.
So, how rich have the richest gotten? the video begins. And how poor are the rest of us?
Some of the facts highlighted in the video:
- The richest 1 percent of the nation own one-third of U.S. net worth.
- America has 3.1 million millionaires, and more than 400 billionaires in its ranks, more than any other country in the world.
- The top three earners (Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Lawrence Ellison) have a combined net worth of $131 billion, higher than the combined budget shortfall of every single state in the U.S.
- The 24 million least wealthy families in America (with an average U.S. income of $26,487) saw their incomes drop by an average of 10 percent in 2010.
- 1 in every 7 Americans lives below the poverty line, a record 46.2 million people.
More shocking statistics, clearly and engagingly put together in Santos and Rogers' animated video, encompass the six-minute breakdown of Occupy assertions and Wall Street predictions.
Below, watch the full Guardian video breaking down the numbers behind OWS assertions about wealth disparity in the U.S.
99 Percent v. 1 Percent: