Income Gap Widens in 20 States, Census Data Shows
Census Bureau estimates released this morning show income inequality increasing across much of the country. View data for each state with our interactive map.
Data released by the Census Bureau this morning shows a widening gap in income distribution for many states, reflecting a decades-long trend as more wealth shifts to the most affluent Americans.
The Gini coefficient, the standard measurement of income inequality, climbed by a statistically significant margin in 20 states from 2010 to 2011, the Census Bureau reported. The index was statistically unchanged in all 30 other states and the District of Columbia, with no states recording a decrease.
This isn’t a surprise, as income inequality has continually expanded in recent years. U.S. household income inequality has increased about 18 percent since 1967, with much of the growth occurring in the 1980s, according to another Census Bureau report published earlier this year.
Data indicates the South and parts of the northeastern U.S. experience the greatest degree of income inequality. This divide is much clearer when measuring inequality for smaller geographic regions, such as counties.
The Census Bureau measures household income inequality using the Gini coefficient, which ranges from 0 to 1. High values represent a greater disparity, so a population with all equal incomes would register a coefficient of zero.
New York (0.503), Connecticut (0.486) and Louisiana (0.484) recorded the highest 2011 income inequality, while Wyoming (0.408) and Alaska (0.410) had the least disparity.
The Gini coefficient measured in the following ten states showed the largest year-over-year increase:
|State||2011 Gini Estimate||2011 Margin of Error||2010 Gini Estimate||2010 - 2011 Difference|
States with higher 2011 estimated income equality are shaded dark blue in the map below.
Click a state to display its data. A greater Gini coefficient represents higher income inequality, with margins of error shown in parenthesis.
NOTE: Zoom out to view Alaska and Hawaii data.
Today's release was part of the first set of data published from the Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey.
Other new survey data now available includes poverty, health insurance, housing and numerous other figures. Check back in the coming weeks as we'll be posting more data from the release.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
Tim Kaine: The 3 Lessons I Learned From Local Government9 hours ago
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Resigns11 hours ago
With Restorative Justice, Offenders Avoid Prison and Victims Get a Bigger Voice11 hours ago
Nevada Ends Segregation of Prisoners With HIV12 hours ago
Campaign Signs Ruling From Supreme Court Pits Kansas Versus Its Cities12 hours ago
Illinois Lawmaker Abruptly Leaves Office -- and Social Media12 hours ago