5 Most Unequal Cities in America

Income inequality is worsening nationwide, and nowhere is this more clear than when looking at individual cities.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

As the American middle class shrinks, cities are seeing vast gulfs develop between the rich and the poor. USA Today’s 24/7 Wall St. section reports on the cities with the widest gap between high-income and low-income residents.

Income inequality is worsening nationwide, and nowhere is this more clear than when looking at individual cities.  All of the cities with the worst income inequality have the rich raking in disproportionate wealth.

USA Today based their study on what’s known as the Gini coeffecient, which is a “figure used to measure income inequality.”

The area with the most income inequality was Sebastian-Vero Beach, Florida. The area has a poverty rate of 17.2 percent. But seven percent of households earn over $200,000 dollars. Last year, 33.8 percent of household income went to the top 5 percent of households, which is the highest rate out of any metropolitan area in the U.S. But the median household income was only about $40,000.

Another metropolitan area with glaring income inequality is Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut, which houses some of the wealthiest residents and companies in the country. While 12.7 percent of homes in Fairfield County--where the three areas are located--are worth at least $1 million, extreme poverty exists side by side. In Bridgeport, more than one in four residents lived in poverty in 2012.

Here are the top five cities with the worst income inequality, according to 24/7 Wall St. Click here for the full article and list.

1. Sebastian-Vero Beach, Fla.

2. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.

3. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.

4. Albany, Ga.

5. New York Metropolitan Area

 

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.