The incomes of Seattle’s top earners grew faster than in any other of America’s 50 largest cities between 2012 and 2013, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution.

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In Seattle, the rich are indeed getting richer.

The incomes of Seattle’s top earners grew faster than in any other of America’s 50 largest cities between 2012 and 2013, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution.

The household income needed to place in the top 5 percent of Seattle income-earners rose 14.9 percent — or $36,000 — as the threshold for that elite group rose from $241,944 in 2012 to $278,084 in 2013.

At the same time, the household income level defining the bottom 20th percentile in Seattle grew only 1.1 percent. That income level rose by about $300 from $26,400 in 2012 to $26,700 in 2013.

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That meant Seattle ranked 32nd among the cities in terms of income growth on the low end, according to Alan Berube, a senior fellow at Brookings and one of two researchers who analyzed the data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Following Seattle in the growth of income at the top were Cleveland; Jacksonville, Fla.; Louisville, Ky.; and San Jose, Calif.

Despite that disparity in income growth, Seattle did not place among the top cities with the most income inequality. That distinction went to Atlanta, followed by San Francisco, Boston, Miami and Washington, D.C.

In 2013, Seattle ranked 18th among cities in terms of income inequality, meaning it was more unequal than in 2012, when it ranked 31st. The Brookings researchers measured inequality using the ratio of the 95th percentile income to the 20 percentile income.

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One reason Seattle didn’t rank higher in income disparity is that “your low-income households in Seattle — and I use this term carefully — are ‘richer’ than low-income households in other cities by about $4,000 to $5,000 on average,” Berube said

He noted, however, that the data doesn’t take into account the cost of living in the city or the fact that many of Seattle’s poor have moved out of the city into the suburbs.

One big caveat in ranking Seattle as the city where the incomes of the highest earners grew the fastest: San Francisco was not included on that list.

The income of San Francisco’s top earners appeared to grow 18 percent — or $66,000 — between 2012 and 2013. But the Census Bureau does not provide enough specific income data on households earning more than $250,000 for the researchers to draw a statistically significant conclusion, Berube said.

Nationwide, across the 50 largest cities, households in the 95th percentile of income earned 11.6 times as much as households in the 20th percentile, the report says. And the inequality ratio widened both in cities and in the country as a whole.

It’s sometimes argued that “the more income people make at the top, the more those households have to spend on restaurants, dry cleaners, maid service, child care — all the things that employ lower-wage workers and that can help boost their incomes,” Berube said. “At least in the year we’re looking at, that didn’t seem to hold.”