January 3, 2012

Progressivity of Taxes in OECD Countries, Mid-2000s

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This week, Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Veronique de Rugy shows that the United States has the most progressive income tax system among industrialized nations. Progressivity measures show how the distribution of the tax burden is shared. This chart uses data from a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on the share of taxes paid by the richest 10 percent of households in 24 industrialized countries. The bars represent the relative contribution of the top income earners in those 24 countries from the middle of the last decade.

The richest 10 percent of households in the United States (those making $112,124 or more) contribute a greater share of taxes (45.1 percent of all income taxes) than their counterparts in any other industrialized nation. With the OECD average at 31.6 percent of total tax share from top earners, the U.S. income tax is roughly as progressive as income taxes in Italy, Ireland, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. 

Veronique de Rugy blogs about the progressive income tax at NRO’s The Corner.