Income inequality has become a well-known term in recent years, and now, according to the “Top Incomes and Human Well-being Around the World” study recently released, as the super-rich get richer, the life satisfaction for everyone else decreases, reports Catey Hill of MarketWatch.

The study used data from the Gallup World Poll and the World Top Incomes Database to plot the share of taxable income by the “1%” as compared to reported levels of life satisfaction and positive and negative emotional well-being. The data shows, in general, in societies where the 1% holds a larger share of the wealth, citizens report feeling more negative emotions than in those where income is more evenly distributed.

In America, for example, the total share of income earned by the top 1% of families was less than 10% in the late 1970s; by 2012, it had reached levels not seen since the Great Depression, with more than 20% of the income owned by the top 1%, according to research from Emmanuel Saez, an economics professors at the University of California at Berkeley. (In fact, America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit in one Gulfstream G650 jet — have more wealth than the 152 million people who make up the least wealthy 50% of U.S. households.)

The report concludes: An increase in the share of income held by the richest 1% can make you feel as if your chance of moving up the ladder and becoming very rich yourself is growing increasingly beyond your reach.” 

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