For two decades after World War II, incomes grew at a rate close to the U.S. economy-wide growth rate. Anemic growth from 1969 to 1974 kept inequality in check. But since then, the benefits of growth have not been evenly distributed. Racial and gender inequality is also manifested in income inequality.
Connecting the Dots on Income Inequality
What does income inequality look like? Giorgia Lupi's 3D installation visualizes how Americans' incomes have transformed over four decades, giving physical shape to the persistent inequalities that undergird the economic system. The installation is based on data gathered by RAND researchers, who developed a new method to measure income inequality.Explore the data behind this piece Learn more about Giorgia Lupi
Insights from RAND on Income Inequality
What if income growth in America had stayed as equitable as it was in the three decades after World War II? When RAND researchers tackled this question, they found that, if the more-equitable income distributions of the past had persisted, then the cumulative income of the bottom 90 percent of U.S. adults would have been $47 trillion higher by 2018. And in 2018 alone, the bottom 90 percent would have earned $2.5 trillion more—a 67 percent increase.
About Giorgia Lupi
Giorgia Lupi is an information designer and partner at the international design consultancy Pentagram. In her practice, she challenges the impersonality of data, designing engaging visual narratives that reconnect numbers to what they stand for: stories, people, ideas.
Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and her TED talk on her humanistic approach to data has over one million views. She has published two books, Dear Data and Observe, Collect, Draw! A Visual Journal.Learn more