Cities with the Widest Gap Between the Rich and Poor

5. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Penn.
> Gini Index: 0.5049
> Median income: $63,982
> Poverty rate: 14.8%
> Pct. with income over $200,000: 11.3%

More than 19 million people reside in the New York metro area. The area is also home to many of the nation’s wealthiest individuals, living in and around the city. Last year, over 11% of household incomes exceeded $200,000, nearly double the national rate. However, the lower 60% of households by income accounted for less than a quarter of the area’s annual total, and together earned less than the top 5% of households. Even within New York City, there were large disparities. While the poverty rate in Manhattan was roughly 18% last year, 31% of all residents in the Bronx lived below the poverty line. The Bronx’s median household income was $32,460, while in Manhattan, it was more than $67,000.

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4. Albany, Ga.
> Gini Index: 0.5311
> Median income: $34,469
> Poverty rate: 26.9%
> Pct. with income over $200,000: 3.6%

More than 12% of households in the Albany area had less than $10,000 in total income in 2012, more than all but one other metro area in the United States. Additionally, nearly 27% of the area’s population lived below the poverty line as of last year, among the worst poverty rates in the nation. Crime also has been problematic as the area’s economy has struggled. Overall, the area’s wealthiest 5% of households accounted for 27% of all income in 2012, more than all but three other metropolitan areas. Earlier in the year, the area received a boost from the increased demand from China for Georgia peanuts.

3. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.
> Gini Index: 0.5343
> Median income: $54,126
> Poverty rate: 13.8%
> Pct. with income over $200,000: 9.6%

Because of its gulfside location, the Naples metropolitan area includes several large and wealthy retirement communities and beach resorts. As of 2012, an estimated 7% of all properties in the area were worth at least $1 million, compared to just 2% of all homes nationwide. The region’s housing market has recovered, which according to The Naples Daily News has resulted in many low-income residents being priced out of the area. As of 2012, the richest 5% of the metro area bring in an estimated 30.8% of the area’s total income, compared to just 22.43% nationally. The bottom 40% of earners account for just 10.6% of income.

2. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
> Gini Index: 0.5459
> Median income: $79,841
> Poverty rate: 8.9%
> Pct. with income over $200,000: 21.8%

The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area, which comprises all of Fairfield County, is home to some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the country. An estimated 12.7% of homes in the area are worth at least of $1 million, compared to just 2% of all homes nationwide. More than 20% of all households earn $200,000 or more. The top 5% of earners bring in nearly 30% of the region’s income, and the top 20% of earners bring in roughly 58%. With all the area’s wealth, there are still some pockets of severe poverty. For example, the city of Bridgeport is one of the poorest cities in the nation. More than one in four of its residents lived in poverty last year, including nearly 38% of the population under age 18.

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1. Sebastian-Vero Beach, Fla.
> Gini Index: 0.5610
> Median income: $40,413
> Poverty rate: 17.2%
> Pct. with income over $200,000: 7.1%

While 7.1% of households earned more than $200,000 last year, among the higher rates in the nation, no metro area had a greater degree of income inequality than the Sebastian-Vero Beach metro area. In 2012, 33.8% of all household income earned belonged to the wealthiest 5% of households, a higher percentage than any other metro area in the United States. At the same time, the median household income in the area was just over $40,000, versus slightly more than $51,000 nationwide. Further, more than 19% of residents do not have health insurance, well above the national rate of 14.8%.

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