GOBankingRates

Places in the US With the Most Income Inequality

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Every city has an economic divide, but the gap is more striking in some parts of the country than others. In many cases, residents in the top and bottom income brackets reside in the same area, but that’s where the similarities end.

GOBankingRates analyzed the 100 largest U.S. metro areas to identify the most unequal cities based on several economic factors.

Click through to see the cities with the worst income inequality.

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19. New Orleans

Average income of the top 1%: $961,042
Average income of the bottom 99%: $44,025
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $105,710.13
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $16,604.19

Although the New Orleans economy has been on the rise since 2009, not everyone is reaping the benefits of growth in the region. To live comfortably in this city, residents need to earn approximately $70,000 a year, found GOBankingRates’ 2018 Cost of Living Comfortably in the 50 Biggest U.S. Cities study. The top 1 percent earn an average of $961,042, but the bottom 99 percent earn less than $45,000, on average.

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18. Atlanta

Average income of the top 1%: $1,025,362
Average income of the bottom 99%: $48,356
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $108,463.53
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $17,118.26

A major business hub, Atlanta is home to many large corporations — Coca-Cola, UPS and Delta Air Lines, to name a few. Atlanta is also the wealthiest zip code in Georgia. The average income of the top 1 percent is more than $1 million, and the bottom 99 percent earn less than $50,000 a year, on average.

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17. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.

Average income of the top 1%: $1,594,106
Average income of the bottom 99%: $48,151
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $81,607
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $23,375

Despite having an unemployment rate consistently lower than the national average, the income disparity in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers area is stunning. However, it’s one of the best places to live in the U.S. in 2018, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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16. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.

Average income of the top 1%: $1,455,805
Average income of the bottom 99%: $48,492
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $113,645.9
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $29,145.62

With an average income of nearly $1.5 million among the top 1 percent, some residents of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area are living the Hollywood dream. And homeowners could really cash in on their properties in this metro area, which is home to some of the best cities to own a home 20 years ago, found a separate GOBankingRates study that identified potential returns on real estate investments.

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15. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.

Average income of the top 1%: $1,353,983
Average income of the bottom 99%: $38,921
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $92,560
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $23,368

The North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area has maintained an unemployment rate consistently lower than the national average, so the wage gap — not the lack of jobs — might be the issue.

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14. Santa Fe, N.M.

Average income of the top 1%: $1,410,235
Average income of the bottom 99%: $46,590
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $102,614
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $9,516

Santa Fe’s top earners are paid more than 30 times the average annual salary of the rest of the city’s workers.

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13. Las Vegas

Average income of the top 1%: $1,459,955
Average income of the bottom 99%: $35,895
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $91,851
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $25,938

In a city hit hard by the recession, home prices and construction activity are still below peak levels, but Bloomberg predicts Las Vegas is on the brink of an economic boom. This could help reduce the income gap between the richest and poorest neighborhoods.

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12. Trenton, N.J.

Average income of the top 1%: $1,632,830
Average income of the bottom 99%: $60,245
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $147,778
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $14,145

Those living in the wealthiest Trenton neighborhoods enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, while residents in the poorest areas are living well below the poverty line — $25,100 for a family of four in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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11. Reno, Nev.

Average income of the top 1%: $1,332,600
Average income of the bottom 99%: $39,726
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $143,804
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $24,722

On average, the top 1 percent of Reno earners bring in over 33 times more than those in the bottom 99 percent.

Find Out: Here Are the Richest and Poorest Zip Codes in America

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10. Boston

Average income of the top 1%: $1,963,545
Average income of the bottom 99%: $64,135
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $168,690
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $32,851

Even though Boston’s bottom 99 percent earn more on average than the annual mean wage for all U.S. workers — $50,620 as of May 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — the top 1 percent earn over 30 times more.

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9. Dallas

Average income of the top 1%: $1,332,359
Average income of the bottom 99%: $53,692
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $194,517.48
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $20,643.65

The average income of Dallas’ top 1 percent is a jaw-dropping 64.5 times that of the median income of those living in Five Mile Creek, the city’s poorest neighborhood.

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8. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.

Average income of the top 1%: $1,344,847
Average income of the bottom 99%: $40,169
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $172,981
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $17,941

It’s safe to assume life in Captiva, the richest neighborhood in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area, is very different from Pine Manor, the poorest section.

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7. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.

Average income of the top 1%: $2,168,628
Average income of the bottom 99%: $70,994
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $239,886
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $35,288

The most notable wealth statistic of the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area is that the bottom 99 percent earn an average of $70,994.

Can You Afford It? How Much You Need to Live Comfortably Across America

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6. Houston

Average income of the top 1%: $1,691,321
Average income of the bottom 99%: $59,161
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $250,000
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $12,500

Residents in Bunker Hill Village, Houston’s richest neighborhood, earn a jaw-dropping 20 times more than those in Dayton Lakes, the city’s poorest area.

Related: African-American Households Are Getting Richer in These U.S. Cities

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5. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla.

Average income of the top 1%: $4,191,055
Average income of the bottom 99%: $57,258
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $102,997
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $11,386

It’s hard to believe top earners in the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island metro area bring in nearly $4.2 million per year, while those living in the poorest neighborhoods are below the poverty line of $12,140 for a household of one in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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4. Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Average income of the top 1%: $1,393,985
Average income of the bottom 99%: $36,015
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $250,000
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $23,125

They’re located just 20 miles apart, but life on Jupiter Island, Port St. Lucie’s richest neighborhood, is no doubt very different from Ocean Breeze Park, the city’s poorest section.

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3. Miami

Average income of the top 1%: $1,789,754
Average income of the bottom 99%: $39,778
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $250,000
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $20,338

More than 20 percent of Miami-Dade County’s population lives below the poverty rate, according to 2016 research conducted by Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center. This serves as a stark contrast to the nearly $1.8 million average annual salary brought in by the city’s top earners.

Check Out: Elizabeth Warren’s Ultra-Millionaire Tax Plan

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2. Sebastian-Vero Beach, Fla.

Average income of the top 1%: $2,519,981
Average income of the bottom 99%: $39,710
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $217,375
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $27,239

Residents of Windsor, the richest neighborhood in the Sebastian-Vero Beach metro area, earn annual salaries nearly eight times that of those living in Fellsmere, the region’s poorest section.

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1. Bridgeport-Stamford, Conn.

Average income of the top 1%: $6,061,230
Average income of the bottom 99%: $82,222
Median income of the wealthiest neighborhood: $205,688
Median income of the poorest neighborhood: $41,050

The average income of the bottom 99 percent in the Bridgeport-Stamford metro area is a notably high $82,222 per year — over 60 percent more than the average U.S. salary of $50,620. Considering top earners pull in nearly 74 times that of the bottom earners an annual basis, it’s not surprising this region has the largest income disparity in the U.S.

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Several Florida Cities Display Wealth Inequality

Florida has the most unequal cities of any state, claiming four of the top five, and six overall. A major factor is the wealthy retirees living near much poorer neighborhoods and towns within the metro areas.

Areas like Bridgeport-Stamford in Connecticut — which earned the top spot on the list — and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward in California stood out because disparities in wealth are immense, but the incomes of the bottom 99 percent of residents are comparatively high.

Click through to find out how you stack up to the incomes in your state.

To identify the U.S. areas most divided by wealth, GOBankingRates analyzed the 100 largest metro areas in the country according to four factors: (1) average income of the top 1 percent; (2) average income of the bottom 99 percent, sourced from the Economic Policy Institute; (3) median household income of the wealthiest city in the metro area; and (4) median household income of the poorest city in the metro area, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau. Metro areas were scored and ranked based on the four factors.