- November 3, 2022
- Oregon Center for Public Policy
- Tyler Mac Innis and Juan Carlos Ordóñez
How extreme is wealth inequality in Oregon? So extreme that, together, three billionaires residing in the state have about twice the wealth as that of the entire bottom half of Oregonians.
Wealth inequality is vital to understanding the economic insecurity so many Oregonians endure. Wealth refers to the sum of all the assets a person owns, minus all of their debts. Assets can take many forms, including real estate, stocks and other financial instruments, and ownership of businesses. This differs from another measure of economic well-being: income, which refers to how much a person receives in a year. Because wealth is the accumulation of assets and income over years and generations, it represents a more profound measure of a family’s ability to ride the ups and downs of the economy, to generate greater income, to provide educational and economic advantages to children, and to exercise political power through the use of money.
As extreme as income inequality is in Oregon, wealth is concentrated in even fewer hands. This report relies on analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) of data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), Forbes estimates on U.S. billionaire wealth, and ITEP’s own Microsimulation Tax Model.