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The High Inequality of U.S. Metro Areas Compared to Countries - Jobs & Economy - The Atlantic Cities


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There's probably some threshold at which countries with a Gini coefficient high enough, revolt.

"The Gini coefficient for the United States as a whole is .450, about the same as Iran and the Philippines. For comparison’s sake, the Gini coefficient for Sweden, the world’s most-equal country, is .230. Denmark’s is .248, Germany’s is .270 and Canada’s is .321. The most unequal countries in the world have Gini coefficients between .60 to roughly .70. Though none of America’s metros score that high, the picture is still not a pretty one. Most large metros (with over one million people) have inequality levels that are equal to or above the U.S. average.

The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk (.537) metro — which includes not just the gritty factory town that gives it its name, but stately Westport and über-affluent Greenwich — shares a Gini ranking with Thailand (.536). “The richest Thais earn 14.7 times more than the poorest,” said Gwi-Yeop Son, an United Nations Development Programme representative, a few years ago. “The bottom 60 percent of the population's share of the income is only 25 percent.”

The disparity between New York’s (.504) richest and poorest is comparable to what you’d find in Swaziland (.504), a place not generally noted for its economic dynamism or quality of life (its average life expectancy is the lowest in the world).

Los Angeles’s inequality (.485) is the equivalent of the Dominican Republic (.484).

Chicago (.468) is like El Salvador (.469).

Detroit (.457) matches up with the Philippines (.458).

San Francisco's (.475) inequality is similar to Madagascar's (.475).

Dallas (.463) is like Malaysia (.462).

Inequality in Denver (.455) is comparable to Jamaica’s (.455).

Seattle’s Gini (.439) is similar to Nigeria (.437).

On the flip side, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis St. Paul (.436), Greater Washington, D.C. (.435), Las Vegas (.429), Honolulu (.421), Salt Lake City (.417), and several others stand out as having among the lowest levels of inequality, though these levels are in line with China (.415) and Russia (.422)."

That's a lot of numbers. What does it mean?

That being poor in a major US city can be or is as bad as living in a "third-world" country.

Nonsense.... I see this as evidence that being rich in a third world country still kind of sucks.

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