Incomes Of Iceland's 1% Increased The Most - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Incomes Of Iceland’s 1% Increased The Most

Published November 4, 2015

Main photo by
James Cridland/Creative Commons

No one enjoyed income increases as much as Iceland’s top 1% earners, new data from Statistics Iceland shows.

Vísir reports that the years since the 2008 financial crash have been particularly good to the wealthiest Icelanders, while most everyone else has seen modest at best increases of post-tax income.

According to the findings, incomes after taxes have changed in the following ways (data is gathered from 2010, 2012 and 2014, respectively), in the millions of ISK per year, per household:

Top 1%: 15.8 to 17.7 to 20.6
Top 10%: 8.4 to 9.1 to 10.1
Top 30%: 5.0 to 5.3 to 5.9
Top 50%: 3.1 to 3.3 to 3.7
Bottom 70%: 2.0 to 2.2 to 2.4

The data showed furthermore that those households making 320,000 ISK per month or less – the lowest incomes in the country – saw little to no increase at all over this same time period.

Þórólfur Matthíasson, a professor of economics at the University of Iceland, told reporters that the findings should not be surprising, as the richest tend to see their incomes increase the fastest. He added, though, that government intervention also plays a part.

“In the wake of the bank crash, charges placed on the wealthy increased a great deal,” he said. “The current government has rolled some of these charges back. The salaries of the lowest income earners, social support and such increases more slowly.”

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