Across the metropolises of the United States, the middle class is shrinking. In 9 out of every 10 cities, the share of adults living in middle-income households has fallen.
It’s an ongoing phenomenon that’s a key factor in dividing the nation between the rich and poor. When you zoom into some of the most populous cities with some of the highest income gaps, as mapping-software company Esri did in a new interactive project, “Wealth Divides,” the geography of where the poor and rich live, and how their neighborhoods are divided, is even more staggering.
Using data from state and federal governments, the team mapped the median household income of each census tract in five cities: New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Census tracts in light blue have a median household income between $100,000 and $150,000, while those in darker blue represent more than $150,000. Those colored in orange represent median household incomes of less than $100,000. The darker the shade, the lower the income.
CityLab looked at three of the mapped cities, all ranked among the top 10 in the U.S. in terms of income inequality.