A new study from the Brookings Institution shows that it's America's most influential, trend-setting cities that have the worst income inequality. Places like New York, Washington DC (America's new "second city"), and especially San Francisco are home to massive earnings gaps relative to their urban brethren in the interior of the country.
The New York Times reports:
The country's big cities tend to have higher income inequality than the country as a whole. In the 50 biggest American cities in 2012, a high-income household earned about 11 times the income of a low-income household. Nationally, the ratio was about 9-to-1.
Inequality is sharply higher in economically vibrant cities like New York and San Francisco than in less dynamic ones like Columbus, Ohio. If you want to live in a more equal community, it might mean living in a more moribund economy.
California and New York have of course been home to some of the loudest denunciations of the growing income gap, yet they remain among the most popular destinations for young people inclined to complain about the effects of capitalism. Brooklyn, whose demographic changes over the last fifteen years have seen an influx of (mostly white) hipsters from far and wide take up residence, just helped elect NYC mayor Bill de Blasio, who's sworn to rein in Gotham's sharply rising inequality.
"The truth is, the state of our city as we find it today, is a tale of two cities, with an inequality gap that fundamentally threatens our future," said de Blasio earlier this month.