The wealthy got much poorer in 2009, according to preliminary Internal Revenue Service (IRS) individual income tax statistics.
The total number of individual returns filed fell 1.3% between 2008 and 2009, to about 141 million, and total adjusted gross income fell 6.9%, to $7.6 trillion, the IRS says.
Pension and annuity income was a source of stability: It increased 3.1%, to $531 billion.
But net capital gains plunged 46%, to $241 billion, and capital gain distributions plummeted 90%, to $2.3 billion.
Despite the drop in national individual income, total health savings account deductions increased 17%, to $2.5 billion.