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Income Inequality City by City - 12/2/15

While communities around the nation are wrestling with the issues of income and wealth inequality, some communities are associated with far more inequality than others.  Bloomberg ranked big U.S. cities – those with populations of at least a quarter million – based on a Gini coefficient calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

A Gini index of zero represents absolute equality, while a reading of one represents complete inequality.    According to Bloomberg’s ranking, New Orleans is the most unequal big city in America.  Areas with high levels of income inequality tend to have diverse populations and high levels of residential segregation according to a report released last year by the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington-based non-profit group. 

New Orleans has both of those factors at work.  African-Americans make up sixty percent of the population and often live in starkly different areas than other groups.  Rounding out the list of top ten cities associated with large-scale inequality are Atlanta, Cincinnati, Boston, Dallas, New York, Miami, Tampa, Los Angeles, and Houston.  Baltimore did not rank in the top ten.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.