The concept of income level percentage became well-known during the United States recession when Occupy Wall Street protesters rallied against the wealthiest 1 percent. How much annual income does it take to reach the upper 1 percent of U.S. incomes? According to the Internal Revenue Service, the group starts at a minimum of about $389,000.
Defining the 1 Percent
In early 2014, the IRS released updated data on income levels. The data came from 2011 tax returns and broke income groups down according to percentages. Earners in the top 1 percent made a minimum of $388,905 in adjusted gross income. That income threshold was 5.2 percent higher than the previous year's data. Nearly 1.4 million Americans were in this top tier in 2011.
As a comparison, look at the earning minimum for qualifying for the top 50 percent of earners. In 2011, those making at least $34,823 in adjusted gross income were considered in the top half.