Bumiputera households make up the majority of the country's top 20 percent income earners (T20), but the community also sees the widest intra-group income disparity.
According to data from a parliamentary written reply, the bumiputera make up 53.81 percent of the T20 category, followed by Chinese at 37.05 percent, Indians at 8.80 percent and others at 0.34 percent.
However, when the comparison is made within the bumiputera group itself, T20 earners only comprise 16.34 percent.
The remaining comprises the middle 40 percent income earners (M40) at 38.96 percent and the bottom 40 percent income earners (B40) making up the majority at 44.7 percent.
This is in contrast with the Chinese and Indian communities, where the M40 group makes up the majority.
Within the Chinese community, the T20 group makes up 29.66 percent, followed by the M40 group at 42.32 percent and B40 at 28.02 percent.
As for the Indian community, the T40 group stands at 19.98 percent, followed by the M40 income earners at 41.31 percent and the B40 at 38.71 percent.
The T20 group is defined as having a median income of RM11,610 or a mean income of RM14,305.
The M40 group has median income of RM5,465 or mean income of RM5,662, while the B40 have a median income of RM2,629 and mean income of RM2,537.
Compared across ethnicity, the bumiputera also make up the majority of the M40 group at 64.17 percent.
Chinese make up the remaining 26.43 percent followed by Indians at 9.10 percent and others at 0.30 percent.
However, the bumiputera disproportionately make up the majority of the B40 group.
They make up 73.61 percent, followed by Chinese at 17.50 percent, Indians at 8.52 percent and others at 0.36 percent.
The data, from the household income and expenditure 2014 report, was furnished by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Wahid Omar in a written reply to Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin yesterday.
The rural-urban divide is also apparent in terms of the income they earn.
For rural households, the B40 group makes up the majority at 64.06 percent, the M40 group at 29.35 percent while the T20 group only makes up a meagre 6.59 percent.
In contrast, the middle class M40 makes up the majority at 43.19 percent, followed by the B40 at 32.79 percent while the T20 group is at 24.02 percent.
Interestingly, for the T20 earners, one in five of them, or 20.5 percent, identify themselves as government servants.
Of the remaining in the T20 group, 8.1 percent identify themselves as “employees”, 57.8 percent as private sector workers and 13.5 percent as self-employed.
For the M40 group, three percent identified themselves as employers, 17.3 percent as government servants, 59.2 percent as private sector employees and 20.5 percent as self-employed.
As for the B40 group, only 0.8 percent identified themselves as employers, 8.1 percent as government servants, 56.9 percent as private sector employees and 34.1 percent as self-employed.
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