|Economic Growth and Stratification of Wealth|
|Year||Population in millions||Nonfarm Labor Force||Per Capita Wealth||Wealth Owned By Top l0 Percent|
|Distribution of Wealth|
|City||Year||Proportion of wealth owned by:|
|Richest 1 Percent||Richest 3 Percent|
|Boston||1848||42 percent||64 percent|
|New York||1845||40||66 percent|
Per Capita Wealth: 1840 = 100.0
|Southern black belt counties||64|
|Trempealeau County, Wisconsin||39|
|11 Vermont counties||38|
Questions To Think About
1. Did the distribution of income and wealth grow more or less equal during the decades before the Civil War?
2. A famous Frenchman named Alexis de Tocqueville said that the defining characteristic of pre-Civil War America was "equality of condition." Others have called this era the "age of the common man." Do statistics on the distribution of wealth support or contradict these views? In what sense, if any, might these observers have been correct?