The Unequal Cities of America

Richard Florida explores differing measures of inequality, considering both wage inequality and income inequality in American metropolitan cities.

The issues of wage and income inequality has never been more pressing during this political season. The rise in globalization, new technologies and productivity has resulted in a shrinking middle class and a critical divide between high-paying, knowledge-based, skilled jobs and lower-wage, unskilled jobs.

The measure of wage inequality for the metro areas in the US is based on the Theil Index which compares the wages of lower skill service and manufacturing jobs to higher skill knowledge and professional jobs. The most unequal metro cities are Huntsville, Silicon Valley, College Station-Bryan, Boulder and Durham.

Florida writes that, "While wage inequality considers the differences between salaries only, this measure of income inequality compares all income, including rents, royalties, and dividends." Based on the 2010 American Community Survey, the Gini coefficient was used to measure income inequality; the larger metros of Bridgeport-Stamford, Greater New York and Miami and smaller metros like Naples, Gainesville, Vero Beach, and College Station made the list.

When taken together, "There's only a modest association between these two measures of inequality. In fact, wage inequality accounts for just 15 percent of the variation in income equality across metros."

Florida will examine the deeper relevance and causes of this information in a future post.

Full Story: The Inequality of American Cities

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00