Bloomberg: Atlanta has the highest level of income disparity

by Rincey Abraham

metro-atlanta-area

Atlanta is the U.S. city with the highest level of income disparity in the country, according to a new analysis by Bloomberg. Atlanta moved to the top of the list after being in second place for a number of years, while Miami moved down to No. 4 on the list.

The website looked at major cities with populations of at least 250,000 based on a ratio that measures the distribution of household income among individuals.

According to Alan Berube, senior fellow and director of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, Atlanta has been building toward the No. 1 spot as it has a number of Fortune 500 companies and many executives earning large salaries. At the same time, the city’s poverty rate is 24 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Bloomberg reports that around 18 percent of households in the area earn $150,000 a year or more while 9.3 percent make less than $10,000 a year.

“Every city has some of these economic extremes. Atlanta just has them in spades,” Berube said. “At the high end, it looks like one of the most successful American cities, like a San Francisco or a New York or a Washington. But at its low end, it’s one of America’s poor cities.”

Philadelphia saw the sharpest increase in wealth disparity from last year, moving 17 places in a year to the No. 3 spot. A little more than 8 percent of its residents earn $150,000 or more while 19.5 percent earn less than $40,000.

See the cities that made the top 20 this year below: