It pays to be top dog.

In 2017, the average CEO of one of the 350 largest firms in the U.S. raked in $18.9 million in compensation, a 17.6% increase over 2016, according to a study released Thursday by the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit think tank. This figure includes CEO compensation measures like salary, bonuses, restricted stock grants, long-term incentive payouts and realized stock options.

“CEO pay, after a few years of a lull, really spiked in 2017,” Lawrence Mishel, an economist at EPI, told Moneyish.

And while this isn’t the highest level of CEO compensation on record (that happened in 2000 — the height of the stock market tech bubble — when it hit $20 million), it is one of the highest levels on record, he noted. Compare that to the CEOs in decades past: In 1965, for example, CEOs made an inflation-adjusted $819,000, while in 1995 they raked in a little less than $5.8 million.

High CEO compensation comes at a time when income inequality in America is on the rise. In the 1970s, the top 1% made up less than 10% of all the income earned in this country; in recent years, it’s made more than 20% of all the income.

And that’s no accident, said Mishel, who believes that the biggest reason for this growing income inequality is executive pay growth. “The growth in executive pay is the single largest factor in the growth in income and wages in the top 1% and top 0.1%,” he said.

Of course, Mishel does work for the left-leaning EPI, and other experts have other theories about why the 1% is getting so much richer than the rest of America. As the Washington Post noted, the “why” answers on this debate tend to fall into two camps: “One believes that people at the top have used their positions of influence to lock in excessive earnings,” journalist Lydia DePillis writes. “The other thinks that people with scarce and unique talents have simply been able to command a premium in markets that have gotten bigger over time.”

Whatever the reasons, it’s hard to argue with the rising tides of the 1%. To be in the top 1% nationally in 2015, a family needed a minimum income of $421,926, according to a report released in 2018 by EPI; that’s compared to $358,780 five years prior. And the average annual income of the top 1% these days is a whopping $1,316,985, versus $1,111,491 five years ago — and compared to an average income of just over $50,000 for the bottom 99%.

In some states, it takes even more to sneak into the 1%: The highest thresholds were in Connecticut (a minimum of $700,800), the District of Columbia ($598,155), New Jersey ($588,575), Massachusetts ($582,774), New York ($550,174) and California ($514,694), the report revealed. Scroll down to the bottom of this story for the full list of the average income of the top 1% in each state, and the minimum income to enter the top 1%.

Income threshold for the top 1% in each state

1 Connecticut $700,800
2 New Jersey $588,575
3 Massachusetts $582,774
4 New York $550,174
5 California $514,694
6 Colorado $458,576
7 Illinois $456,377
8 Washington $451,395
9 Maryland $445,783
10 North Dakota $445,415
11 Minnesota $443,118
12 Texas $440,758
13 Virginia $425,144
14 Florida $417,587
15 South Dakota $407,406
16 Wyoming $405,596
17 New Hampshire $405,286
18 Alaska $400,017
19 Pennsylvania $388,593
20 Kansas $375,344
21 Utah $374,467
22 Georgia $371,811
23 Nebraska $363,310
24 Oregon $358,937
25 Wisconsin $349,905
26 Rhode Island $346,657
27 North Carolina $343,066
28 Nevada $341,335
29 Delaware $340,770
30 Ohio $334,979
31 Oklahoma $333,139
32 Tennessee $332,913
33 Iowa $331,572
34 Arizona $331,074
35 Michigan $328,649
36 Missouri $326,839
37 Vermont $321,969
38 Montana $321,849
39 South Carolina $318,463
40 Louisiana $318,393
41 Indiana $316,756
42 Idaho $314,532
43 Hawaii $310,566
44 Maine $303,897
45 Alabama $297,564
46 Kentucky $274,818
47 West Virginia $258,078
48 New Mexico $255,429
49 Arkansas $255,050
50 Mississippi $254,362
2* District of Columbia $598,155

Average income of the top 1%

New York $2,202,480
Florida $1,543,124
Connecticut $2,522,806
Nevada $1,354,780
Wyoming $1,900,659
Massachusetts $1,904,805
California $1,693,094
Illinois $1,412,024
New Jersey $1,581,829
Washington $1,383,223
Texas $1,343,897
Georgia $995,576
Arkansas $864,772
Pennsylvania $1,100,962
Michigan $917,701
Tennessee $947,021
Missouri $944,804
Arizona $882,657
Minnesota $1,185,581
Colorado $1,261,053
North Carolina $902,972
South Dakota $1,130,048
Oregon $908,898
Utah $1,057,066
South Carolina $761,185
Alabama $743,644
Montana $855,976
Wisconsin $964,358
Ohio $858,965
Kentucky $719,012
Kansas $1,034,676
Rhode Island $928,204
Louisiana $814,386
New Hampshire $1,134,101
Maryland $1,135,718
Oklahoma $932,520
Virginia $1,109,984
Idaho $829,268
Indiana $804,275
Delaware $869,461
Mississippi $580,461
Nebraska $945,869
Vermont $816,579
North Dakota $1,080,845
New Mexico $615,082
Maine $655,870
West Virginia $535,648
Iowa $788,419
Hawaii $797,001
Alaska $910,059
District of Columbia $1,858,878

 

This story was originally published in 2017 and has been updated.