- (Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Burton)
- (Photo: REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana)
The top one percent wealthiest Americans are more highly educated and more Republican, but not more conservative, than the bottom 99 percent, according to a report by Gallup.
Seventy-two percent of the top one percent of the wealthiest Americans, those who make at least $500,000 per year, have a college degree while only 31 percent of the bottom 99 percent, those making less than $500,000 per year, have a college degree. Additionally, 49 percent of the top one percent have had postgraduate education while only 16 percent of the bottom 99 percent have had postgraduate education.
Gallup's report, based upon an aggregate of 61 separate polls taken since 2009, also shows that the wealthiest one percent are slightly more Republican, but not more conservative, than the bottom 99 percent.
Fifty-seven percent of the top one percent, compared to 44 percent of the bottom 99 percent, identify with the Republican Party or are Republican-leaning independents.
Ideologically, the top one percent are identical to the bottom 99 percent. For every five Americans, approximately two will be conservative, two will be moderate and one will be liberal.
Gallup also found that the top one percent includes more non-Latino whites and fewer blacks. Plus, they are more likely to live on the East or West coast than the rest of the population.
“We are the 99 percent,” has been the rallying cry of the Occupy Wall Street movement. It has argued that the top one percent of the wealthiest Americans caused the current financial crisis and uses political power to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else. Some Democrats are currently seeking to tap into the energy of the movement. Recent Democratic-sponsored legislation sought to add a surtax on those making more than $1 million per year, for instance.
The total sample for the Gallup survey included 65,662 adults, with 397 of those earning $500,000 or more annually. The margin of error for the top one percent sample is plus or minus six percentage points. The margin of error for the bottom 99 percent sample is plus or minus one percentage point.