This City Officially Has the Worst Income Inequality in the U.S.
The disparity continues to grow in this Southern capital.
The growing disparity between the rich and the poor in America is a major source of concern these days, and even actress/activist Jane Fonda has recently stated that her focus of late is on fair wages and parts of the country where people are “scared and angry and…hurting.”
Recently, Bloomberg looked at large cities—those with a population of 250,000 or more—and ranked them according to income disparity, using the Gini coefficient as calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau.
This year, Atlanta took the top crown.
In second place is New Orleans, followed by Philadelphia, Miami, New York, Boston, Tampa, Houston, Cincinnati, and Dallas.
Some states saw marked improvement in wealth disparity since last year, such as Irvine, California, which moved down 45 spots on the list. Others, however, saw a sharp rise. St. Petersburg, Florida, has moved up 37 spots from last year, and Philadelphia has jumped from 20th place to number three.
Atlanta has been in the running for the greatest wealth disparity for a while now, given that it’s home to both a vast array of Fortune 500 companies and lower-skilled workers whose industries have been hit hard by technological advances and globalization in recent years. According to the report, while 18 percent of households in the city make $150,000 a year or more, another 9.3 percent of households make $10,000 or less.
“Every city has some of these economic extremes. Atlanta just has them in spades,” sAlan Berube, senior fellow and director of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, told Bloomberg. “At the high end, it looks like one of the most successful American cities, like a San Francisco or a New York or a Washington. But at its low end, one of America’s poor cities.”
Thanks in large part to the rise in income inequality in larger cities, it’s no longer the case that someone from a small-town with big dreams moves to NYC or San Francisco immediately upon graduation. In fact, many young people are now relocating to smaller cities, which offer more affordable rent, greater career opportunities, and a better infrastructure for those just starting out. For more on that, check out The 10 Cities Millennials Are Flocking To.
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