What Is an Unequal Distribution of Wealth?

Unequal distribution of wealth is the unbalanced division of wealth, or assets with monetary value, across a population. According to Inequality.org, wealth is defined as the sum of the monetary value of a person's assets minus liabilities or outstanding payments and loans.

As of March 2012, Forbes notes how the unequal distribution of wealth is defined in real numbers. The top 1 percent of the American population is worth approximately 70 times the amount the remaining part of the population is worth financially, or about $84 million. In the same article, Forbes reports that the average income of the upper class is $717,000, while the average income for the remaining 99 percent of the country is around $51,000 per year. Within the top 1 percent of the population, there is an even wealthier subset, approximately 0.1 percent, that has an average yearly income of over $27 million, approximately 540 times the national average. This unequal distribution of wealth limits the amount of resources, causing a vast difference in the living conditions between classes.

The New York Times notes that even though American productivity has risen since the 1930s, the value of wages in correlation with work has not. Profits make up the largest sector of the national income, encouraging the unequal distribution of wealth.