By Simi Afroza Mira
Three such cities are Miami, Los Angeles, and New York. They also offer the appeal of the American dream. Sadly these are the most unequal places to live in America when we look at the difference between the rich and the poor.
According to the Census Bureau, in New York City, there are approximately four million people trying to live on an income of $12,300 or less, which is below the poverty line for a family. Ironically, New York is also the home of the largest number of billionaires in the world. This may be one of the cities offering the American dream but, unfortunately the reality of day-to-day life leaves many people behind.
OTHER CITIES IN AMERICA THAT ARE PLAGUED BY INEQUALITY
We used New York City as a prime example but, they are not worst case of inequality between the rich and the poor. To put things in a better perspective let’s look at the top five cities and income levels of the bottom 20% (the poor) and the top 5% of the rich.
- Bridgeport-Stamford, Connecticut – $15,800 – $782,000
- Naples-Immokalee, Marco Island, Florida – $13,900 – $521,000
- New York- Newark, Jersey City, New York – $12,300 – $489,000
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Florida – $10,200 – $375,000
- Port Saint Lucie, Florida – $9,800 – $353,000
The other cities that made the top ten are: Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, California, Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas, New Orleans-Metairire, Louisiana, Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Los Angeles-Long Beach, California.
In the Bridgeport-Stamford area, the wealthy get credited for owning nearly 60% of all the income and that is just the top 5%.
THE GINI COEFFICIENT
The determination of equality in cities is based on the Gini Coefficient developed by Italian Economist Corrado Gini. How it works is that if a town had a Gini Coefficient of 0 it would mean that everyone in the town has the same exact income. If the town rates a 2 then it would mean that two families in the town owned just about everything. Overall the entire country sits at a rate of .45 while the top ten cities are at .55.
According to the Gini Coefficient, the most equal cities in America include the following: Ogden-Clearfield, Anchorage, Salem, Killeen-Temple, Lancaster, Provo-Orem, York-Hanover, Urban Honolulu, Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, and Vallejo-Fresno.