The gap between the rich and poor has continued to widen in the United States. While the wealthiest 5% of U.S. households earn at least $203,000 annually, the bottom 20% earn less than $22,000 a year. The difference is far wider than even five years ago.
Income inequality has been on the rise in almost every part of the United States for well over three decades. While some income inequality should be expected, rising inequality has serious consequences. Extreme income disparities hinder upward social mobility, increase racial segregation, and fuel gaps in health and wellness between the rich and poor.
Income inequality is far more pronounced in certain parts of the country. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed U.S. Census Bureau data to identify the 25 counties with the widest income gaps. The counties on this list span a number of regions — from the Northeast to the Midwest — and can be either urban areas or largely rural counties.
Plenty of cases of income inequality are found in large, wealthy, urban areas, where the luxury of the rich and the deprivation of the poor are often visible. Many of the most extreme cases of income inequality, however, are in poor, rural areas.
These are the 25 counties with the widest income gaps.