It turns out that the gap between the rich and the middle class is larger than it's been in recorded American history. Much of the growth in the gap is due to the recent housing crisis taking place over the past three years.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealthiest 1% had an average net worth that was 225 greater than the average American. That's higher than the previous record, which was 190 times in 2004.
An intriguing aspect of the divide is that it occurred while the wealth of all Americans declined on average. The richest households lost 27% of their wealth between 2007 and 2009, while middle class Americans lost 47% of their wealth during the same time period. So, the growth in the gap was mainly due to the fact that the middle class and poor suffered more during the recent recession than the wealthy.