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Affordable Housing , Community Development , Reports and Publications

Income Inequality Has Increased Since Great Recession

27 January 2016
Brookings Institute

A new report by the Brookings Institute shows that income inequality in America is actually higher than before the Great Recession. The report evaluates households earning more than 95% of all other households and those earning more than only 20 percent of all other households (95/20 ratio). The report looks at that ratio for the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. using data from the 2014 American Community Survey and trends from 2007, prior to the Great Recession.

Overall, metro areas have larger inequality than the nation as a whole. Decreasing incomes at the bottom was a main driver for inequality increases. Unfortunately, Connecticut metro areas made their way into the top ten for income inequality. The metro area with the highest income inequality overlap is the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area with the lower 20th percentile households making $31,333 and the households making more than the upper 95th percentile making $ 558,970.

The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area also had the most unequal household income change from 2007-2014. The household incomes for the bottom percentile decreased by $5,552, while the 95th percentile’s household income increased by $117,108. The New Haven-Milford metro area had the 8th most unequal household income change. The household income for those in the 20th percentile decreased by $4,414 while those at the 95th percentile decreased by $6,737. New Haven, CT had the greatest inequality increase for cities with a $3,767 decrease for those in the 20th percentile and a $44,882 increase for those at the 95th percentile.

Click here for the full report - City and metropolitan inequality on the rise, driven by declining incomes