Atlanta Ranks No.1 for Income Inequality

Things are distant between Atlanta's rich and poor


Brookings Institution recently revealed a new report comparing cities’ top earning households to their least earning. The report serves as an update to 2014 research exploring income inequality among the nation’s 50 largest cities. The analysis measures the wealth gap between households earning more than 95% of all other households and households earning more than only 20% of all other households.

When it comes to income equality, things aren’t so peachy in Atlanta, Georgia. Based on trends from 2012 to 2013, the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, the southern city ranked number one with a 19.2% income disparity between it’s highest and lowest earning families. The dollar ratio was $288,200 to $15,000. Trucking close behind was San Francisco, CA (17.2%) and Boston, MA (15.0%).

On the opposite end were the cities with more equally distributed income; like Virginia Beach, VA which came in first place with only a 6.2% gap ($199,302 to $32,051). Colorado Springs, CO (7.3%) and Mesa, AZ (7.5%) also ranked well as compared to the more unequal cities.

The report concluded that “rising incomes at the top of the distribution are not—at least in the short term—lifting earnings near the bottom, even in local markets.” Many cities are upping their minimum wage rate in efforts to balance the scales. Seattle increased their minimum wage to $15 an hour.