The Nation's Most Equal (and Unequal) Cities

In the United States, urban wealth and poverty are often quite segregated. But they can also be next-door neighbors. This article looks at cities with the highest and lowest levels of income inequality.
December 7, 2015, 6am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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David A. Arnott reports on data showing which major U.S. municipalities are the most equal, and which are the least. "The Census Bureau calculated inequality in all those areas by the Gini index, which measures the distribution of money in a given place. It's expressed on a scale from zero (everybody in town has the exact same income) to one (a single person in town has all of the income)."

Arnott cites the area around San Francisco's Chinatown as one place where the well-off and the poor live side by side. "The list also contains information about whole cities that may be surprising. Detroit — notorious for its blight, yet with incredibly wealthy pockets scattered throughout — is listed as more equal (0.499) than Pittsburgh (0.521), Houston (0.525), Boston (0.533), Tampa (0.533), and other cities that don't have nearly that kind of reputation."

The most unequal cities tend to be larger by population and land area, embracing a wider variety of neighborhoods. "The American big city (population greater than 100,000) with the most income inequality, by far, is Atlanta (0.583). At the other end of the spectrum, West Jordan, Utah (0.330), has the most income equality."

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Published on Thursday, November 19, 2015 in Atlanta Business Chronicle
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