The Inequality Problem of America’s Cities
Alan Berube provides data of a common thread of inequality among America’s cities—although some cities are worse than others.
The report uses the 95/20 ratio as a statistical metric for inequality, defining the ratio as “the income at which a household earns more than 95 percent of all other households, divided by the income at which a household earns more than only 20 percent of all other households.”
“Across the 50 largest U.S. cities in 2012, the 95/20 ratio was 10.8, compared to 9.1 for the country as a whole. The higher level of inequality in big cities reflects that, compared to national averages, big-city rich households are somewhat richer ($196,000 versus $192,000), and big-city poor households are somewhat poorer ($18,100 versus $21,000),” writes Berube.
“However, some cities are much more unequal than others. The big cities with the highest 95/20 ratios in 2012 were Atlanta, San Francisco, Miami, and Boston.”