For quite awhile, I’ve been accumulating resources documenting the growth in the United States in wealth and income inequality. I’ve been planning on using them to develop a simple lesson using some of them — both for my Theory of Knowledge class and for my Intermediate English class. I’ve got a few ideas, but thought I’d the resources and solicit suggestions from readers.

I was prompted to write post after reading Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times’ column titled “Our Banana Republic,” which certainly belongs on list. Here’s an excerpt:

The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.

Resources to illustrate kind of disparity on a world-wide basis can be found in two other “The Best…” lists:

The Best Sites That Show Statistics By Reducing The World & The U.S. To 100 People

The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures

You might also be interested in The Best Resources To Help Students Learn About Occupy Wall Street.

The sites on list, though, are specifically related to the United States.

The lesson plans I’ve seen on the Web seem pretty involved and complicated, and I want to develop, or learn about, one that is much simpler. All suggestions are welcome, including ones about additional resources.

I’m dividing list into two sections. The first one includes infographics that might be accessible to English Language Learners. The second part articles that would have to have portions modified to make them accessible.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources About Wealth & Income Inequality:


The Great Divergence In Pictures: A Visual Guide To Income Inequality is an incredible slideshow by Slate.

15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth And Inequality In America is from The Business Insider.

Here are links to several infographics created by Visualizing Economics.

Superrich Americans Driving Income Inequality is from NPR.

Charting the Decline is an infographic from TIME Magazine.

It’s the Inequality, Stupid is from Mother Jones and has eleven infographics.

A History of Poverty is an animated world map showing where poverty (and prosperity) have been most present over the past two hundred years. You can narrow it down by continent or county, too. It’s from the Christian Aid charity. After showing it to students, it could create a wealth of question-asking opportunities.

15 Facts About U.S. Income Inequality That Everyone Should Know (CHARTS) comes from The Huffington Post.


Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times’ column titled “Our Banana Republic.”

Slate’s series that goes along with the slideshow mentioned earlier, The United States of Inequality.

Income Inequality: Too Big to Ignore by Robert Frank in the New York Times.

Why Has America’s Income Inequality Skyrocketed? from The Atlantic.

Fast Track to Inequality by Bob Herbert in The New York Times.

Equality, a True Soul Food is a piece by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. It’s on income equality.

Malcolm Gladwell On Why Income Inequality is the Next Big Issue Facing America is an article and video.

Recently, filmmaker Michael Moore spoke to public sector workers protesting in Wisconsin and said, “”Just 400 Americans — 400 — have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.” I’m an admirer of Moore, but he can also be guilty sometimes of a little hyperbole. I did find it interesting , though, to read that The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel actually investigated his claim pretty thoroughly. Here’s their last line:

We rate Moore’s statement True.

The income made by, and the taxes paid by, the rich, in one graph is a chart from Ezra Klein at The Washington Post.

The Opportunity Gap is an infographic from GOOD.

The BBC has an interactive chart builder that lets you compare Asian countries (and the U.S. and the U.K.) in terms of wealth, health, life expectancy, education and energy consumption.

(Not) spreading the wealth is a pretty impressive interactive infographic from The Washington Post.

As Income Gap Balloons, Is It Holding Back Growth? is from NPR.

Recession Study Finds Hispanics Hit the Hardest is from The New York Times.

The PBS News Hour has done a series of reports on wealth and income inequality:

Americans Facing More Inequality, More Debt and Now More Trouble? (you can see the video and its transcript at the link)

The Income Inequality Quiz

Land of the Free, Home of the Poor

What Americans think about income inequality in one graph
is from The Washington Post.

Here are two articles I’m adding to list that are definitely not accessible to ELL’s, but they have great information that could be used by a teacher:

Isolated, Vulnerable And Broke is a column from The New York Times.

Can the Middle Class Be Saved? is from The Atlantic.

IMF: Income inequality is bad for economic growth is from The Washington Post.

The Limping Middle Class is by Robert Reich and appeared in The New York Times.

Protesters Against Wall Street is from The New York Times.

Corporations Tailoring Product Lines To Reflect Growing Income Inequality is from The Huffington Post.

Notes on income inequality is from The Washington Post.

America’s ‘Primal Scream’ is by Nicholas Kristof at The New York Times.

Graph of the Day: An “Occupy Wall Street” Primer

“How Economic Inequality Harms Societies” is the title of a new TED Talk that I’ve embedded below:

How Economic Inequality Is (Literally) Making Us Sick is a new TIME Magazine article on a similar topic.

Public Opinion and the Occupy Movement is a fascinating interactive infographic from The New York Times. I’m also adding it to The Best Resources To Help Students Learn About Occupy Wall Street.

Does Inequality Make Us Unhappy? is by Jonah Lehrer at Wired.

The downward path of upward mobility is by Fareed Zakaria at The Washington Post.

Income Inequality Between High Earners and Low Earners is an infographic from Information Is Beautiful.

The Growing Wealth Gap is a CNN slideshow.

The 21 Most Unequal Cities in America is a slideshow from Business Insider.

Occupy Design has a variety of useful infographics.

A Generation Of Widening Inequality is a report from The California Budget Project.

We Are the 99.9% is by Paul Krugman at The New York Times.

Income inequality is increasing across much of the developed world, a trend that will continue unless governments move aggressively to arrest it, according to a report released Monday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Washington Post began an article with that sentence.

Her’s a video representation of the report:

The 1 Percent Club’s Misguided Protectors is a NY Times column that includes some good charts.

Inconvenient Income Inequality is from The New York Times.

On fairy tales about inequality is from The Economic Policy Institute.

The Great Economic Divide Makes Everyone Poorer is from The Fiscal Times.

Bill Moyers’ new show recently made its debut, and it looks like it’s going to be a winner. The first episode was on economic inequality. Here’s how it’s described:

Bill Moyers explores how America’s vast inequality didn’t just happen, it’s been politically engineered.

I’ve embedded the show below. It’s obviously challenging for English Language Learners, but they’ve made the transcript available, too. In addition, they’ve published a very accessible chart.

Moyers & Company 101: On Winner Take All Politics from on Vimeo.

The Top 1 Percent: What Jobs Do They Have?
is a cool NY Times interactive.

The Great Divergence In Pictures: A visual guide to income inequality

Your Money’s Worth: Examining Facts and Attitudes About Income Inequality is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Income Inequality Is Bad For Society is a series of useful charts.

Poverty, inequality and redistribution is a chart from The Economist.

The Triggers of Economic Inequality is an interactive chart from Bill Moyers.

Wealth and Inequality in the United States is a very good infographic. I just wish they had listed their sources.

The Astonishing Trend in Income Gains for the Very Rich is from the PBS News Hour.

The Rich Get Even Richer is from The New York Times.

Wealth Inequality In The World

Worsening wealth inequality by race is a graph at CNN.

The Myth of Rags to Riches and Downward Spiral are both from The American Prospect.

Americans Want to Live in a Much More Equal Country (They Just Don’t Realize It) is by Dan Ariely.

It’s Official: Inequality Still on the Rise is from The PBS News Hour.

Inequality and Its Perils is from The National Journal.

Inequality across the country, in two maps is from The Washington Post.

Is Income Inequality Rising, and Are a Lot of Feathers Heavy? is from Freakonomics.

Chart of the day: the price of inequality is from The New Statesman.

Ezra Klein at The Washington Post has published an important interview with Chrystia Freeland, author of “The Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.”

The Great Divide: Global income inequality and its cost is a project by a group called The Global Post, done in partnership with The Pulitzer Center with support from The Ford Foundation.

Here’s how they introduce the project:

Income inequality is surging, and there are few countries where it is rising faster than the United States. The distance between rich and poor is greater in America than nearly all other developed countries, making the US a leader in a trend that economists warn has dire consequences. GlobalPost sets out on a reporting journey to get at the ‘ground truth’ of inequality through the lenses of education, race, immigration, health care, government, labor and natural resources. The hope is to hold a mirror up to the US to see how it compares to countries around the world.

I’m embedding the interactive below, but there’s much, much more to the site.

The Great Divide: Global income inequality and its cost


Incomes Flat in Recovery, but Not for the 1% is from The New York Times.

Racial Wealth Gap Has Tripled Since 1984 is from BuzzFeed.

Research ties economic inequality to gap in life expectancy is from The Washington Post.

Growing Inequality of Life Expectancy—but Why? is a follow-up to that article, and appeared in Slate.

Graph of the day: Who benefits from a stock-market boom? is from The Washington Post.

Wealth Inequality is from The Economist.

‘Trickle-down consumption’: How rising inequality can leave everyone worse off is from The Washington Post.

Diverging Fortunes for Men and Women is from The New York Times.

Inequality Rising and Permanent Over Past Two Decades is from The Brooking Institution.

Good news for people who like bad news about inequality is from The Washington Post.

Wealth Gap Among Races Has Widened Since Recession is from The New York Times. is an extremely impressive interactive.

Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality
includes many interactive charts.

In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters
is an interactive from The New York Times.


America does not have equal opportunity, in one chart is from The Washington Post.

Watch the growth of U.S. income inequality with animated map is from The Washington Post.

Economic Mobility Map is a fascinating interactive from The Washington Post.

Wealth gap: A guide to what it is, why it matters is from The San Francisco Chronicle.

10 startling facts about global wealth inequality is from The Washington Post.

How Americans really feel about the gap between rich and poor is also from The Washington Post.

Piketty’s Inequality Story in Six Charts is from The New Yorker.

Get Rich, Live Longer: The Ultimate Consequence of Income Inequality is from The Atlantic.

The short guide to Capital in the 21st Century is from Vox.

Economist Receives Rock Star Treatment is from The New York Times.

Explorable Inequality is an amazing interactive from Carnegie Mellon University that lets you explore income inequality throughout the world.

An Idiot’s Guide to Inequality is by Nicholas Kristof at The New York Times.

The Brookings Institution has created this video to illustrate the lack of economic mobility in the United States to accompany this report:

Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead from NPR is a good piece to read their shares similar conclusions.

TED Talks released a Thomas Piketty video on wealth and income inequality. It’s twenty-one minutes long, and I wouldn’t recommend showing all of it, but clips could be very useful. I’ve embedded the video below, and you can see it on the TED Talk website here, along with an interactive transcript.

The state of America’s widening wealth gap is from The Washington Post.

Chart: the average white family is 74 times wealthier than the average Hispanic family is from Vox.

Statistic Of The Day: Economic Inequality In The U.S. & The World

Statistic Of The Day: The Richest One Percent Will Own Almost Everything By Next Year

40 Years Of Income Inequality In America, In Graphs is from NPR.

The astonishing rise in wealth inequality, in one gif is from Vox.

Second Quote Of The Day: Robert Putman’s New Book On Inequality

Statistic Of The Day: Inequity In School Funding

Statistic Of The Day: “Why Inequality Persists In America”

Nine Charts about Wealth Inequality in America are from The Urban Institute.

This chart explains everything you need to know about inequality is from The Washington Post.

If you thought income inequality was bad, get a load of wealth inequality is from The Washington Post.

Quiz: Can you recognize the shape of inequality in America? Most can’t is also from The Washington Post.

People have no idea what inequality actually looks like is from The Washington POst.

This map shows how red states increase inequality and blue states cut it is from Vox.

America’s wealth gap is split along racial lines — and it’s getting dangerously wider is from Vox.

Income inequality today may be higher today than in any other era is from The Washington Post.

Total Inequality is from The Atlantic.

This cartoon explains how the rich got rich and the poor got poor is from Vox.

Economists Chart ‘Index Of The American Dream’ In ‘The New York Times’ is from NPR.

Severe Inequality Is Incompatible With the American Dream is from The Atlantic.

U.S. Kids Far Less Likely To Out-Earn Their Parents, As Inequality Grows is from NPR.

American Dream collapsing for young adults, study says, as odds plunge that children will earn more than their parents is from The Washington Post.

Inequality Is Killing The American Dream is from Five Thirty Eight.

The American Dream, Quantified at Last is from The NY Times.

“The Widening Racial Wealth Divide” Is Such An Important – & Accessible – Article

Another Depressing Statistic On Wealth Inequality

You might be among the world’s richest people and not realize it is from The Washington Post.

Wild & Depressing NY Times Charts Show “inequality is out of control”

Here’s why the wealth gap is widening between white families and everyone else is a series of graphics from The Washington Post.

Myths of the 1 Percent: What Puts People at the Top is from The NY Times.

How rising inequality hurts everyone, even the rich is from The Washington Post.

What the difference between mean and median tells us about income inequality is from Datawrapper.




CNN has just published a useful interactive called Inequality is an undeniable fact in America.


The wealth gap: How the education world fails to fully measure students’ economic disadvantage is from Chalkbeat.

Teach About Inequality With These 28 New York Times Graphs is from The NY Times Learning Network.

This Simple Chart Reveals The Distribution Of Global Wealth, is from Visual Capitalist. You can find more information on it – and a bigger version – at the link.


Infographic Of The Week: “Household Income Distribution in the U.S. Visualized as 100 Homes”

Infographic: The Global Wealth Pyramid | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


Feedback is welcome.

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