NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

U.S. Per Capita Tax Burden Highest In The World

May 26, 1999

Consider that since 1980, the per-capita tax burden has risen 177 percent -- or nearly 50 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis. Polls show that Americans have put tax-cutting at a lower priority recently, perhaps because they are unaware of how much the government take has grown, public-opinion watchers say.

While U.S. taxpayer pay less as a proportion of their income than citizens of other developed countries, the average American's tax bill exceeds the per-capita tax payment in all other industrialized countries.

  • The average American pays $8,625 in taxes each year.
  • Like Americans, the Japanese pay 28 percent of their income in taxes -- but their per-capita bill is $7,226 annually.
  • While Germans pay 38 percent, their bill is only $6,593; while the French pay $6,386, and the Italians pay $6,212.
  • The English, taxed at 38 percent, pay only $5,796.

These figures are from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and cover calendar year 1996.

Source: James Miller III (Citizens for a Sound Economy), "Seeking GOP Colors for a Tax-Cut Battle," Washington Times, May 26, 1999.


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