What it takes to be a one percenter

November 20, 2012: 2:13 PM ET
one percent occupy
To get into the Top 1%, you needed $370,000 in 2010.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

It doesn't take a million bucks to get into the top 1%.

In fact, it took a little less than $370,000 in adjusted gross income in 2010 to make it into this elite group, according to newly released data from the Internal Revenue Service. That's up slightly from the $352,000 the year before.

But on average, the top 1% earned $1.12 million, up from $980,000 the year before.

The top 1% have been in the spotlight since Occupy Wall Street protesters first began camping out in cities across the U.S. last fall. The presidential campaign also centered on the haves and have nots, with President Obama calling for tax increases on the rich and challenger Mitt Romney arguing that taxing the wealthy would hurt the economy.

That fight continues as the two parties look to resolve the fiscal cliff crisis.

Super rich take advantage of tax havens Tax Havens & The Super Rich

The fortunes of the top 1% are highly dependent on the stock market since much of their wealth comes from investments. Looking at the past decade, the club had its most exclusive year in 2007, when the stock market was roaring. It took more than $426,000 in adjusted gross income to make it into the top 1% that year.

There were 1.35 million households that qualified for entry. They earned nearly 19% of the nation's income and paid roughly 37% of its income tax.

The growth of the top 1%'s income has been the subject of heated debate over the past year as data show their earnings growing far faster than the less fortunate.

Incomes for the top 1% grew 241% between 1979 and 2007, compared to 11% for the bottom fifth and 19% for the middle fifth, according to statistics compiled by the left leaning Economic Policy Institute.

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