A recent story in Bloomberg said only one city in America is more unequal than Atlanta. And that dubious distinction — which has dogged the ATL for several years — now goes to Miami.
The ranking ordered large cities with a population of at least 250,000 based on the Gini coefficient — a statistical measure intended to represent income distribution.
Using 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the ratio ranges from zero, which reflects absolute equality, to one: complete inequality.
Miami loomed at the top of the list, followed by Atlanta, New Orleans, New York, and Dallas.
According to the story, middle-income jobs have all but disappeared over the years (specifically, in the South Florida city), sending residents to either the low end or the high end of the spectrum.
The article also states that real estate "contributes to the growing income disparity in Miami, a highly-sought destination for second and third homes."
There was no speculation in the piece as to what factors contributed to Atlanta’s embarrassingly high placement on the list. But a 2013 report by the Brookings Institution found that the households of Atlanta's wealthiest residents raked in nearly 20 times more than the poorest. Or as The Washington Post put it then:
The distinction in Atlanta "requires having households in your 98th percentile register incomes of more than $288,000, while having those in the 20th percentile earning a hair under $15,000."
A gulf that large earned Atlanta "most unequal" dishonors for the past couple of years. So thanks, Miami.
- The 10 Most Unequal Cities in America [Bloomberg]