Income Segregation in the United States

Richard Florida: “Working closely with Charlotta Mellander and my Martin Prosperity Institute team, I have charted the level and extent of segregation by income, of the rich and the poor, of the highly educated, and by socioeconomic class across tracts in all of America’s more than 350 metros.”

“We measured income segregation by calculating the share of low-income households that are located in neighborhoods with a majority of low-income households in comparison to the share of upper-income families who live in neighborhoods with a majority of upper-income households.”

“The map below shows how U.S. metros stack up on income segregation. Dark blue reflects high levels of income segregation; light blue significant levels; green moderate levels, and yellow low levels.”

Findings: “Income segregation is higher in larger metros [and] higher in metros where Blacks and Latino make up greater shares of the population.”

“You would think that income segregation would be higher in more affluent metros. But [it] is only weakly associated with average wages (.14) and not significantly related to either per capita income or economic output per person.”

“As middle class neighborhoods have declined, America’s economic landscape is increasingly polarized.”

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