Miami Has the Second-Highest Income Inequality of Any U.S. Metro Area

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At the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement is disgust over the well-documented increase of income inequality in America over the past few decades and the slow disappearance of a robust middle class. While New York City is certainly an apt place for the center of those protests, Miami certainly can empathize. The Miami metro area has the second-greatest gap between the haves and have-nots, according to a new U.S. Census report, only behind NYC.

Los Angeles, Houston and Memphis round out the top five. Read the full report in PDF form here.

The report uses "the Gini

index of household income inequality ... (which) ranges from 0.0,

when all households have equal

shares of income, to 1.0, when one

household has all the income and

the rest none)."

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro are has a Gini index of 0.493. The nationwide Gini index is 0.467.

Within the city limits of Miami, the inequality picture is even more grim. The City of Miami has a Gini index of 0.540, which ties it for third place with Washington D.C. for the third highest income inequality in the nation. 

Only Atlanta and New Orleans have higher income inequality. Interestingly Gainesville is fifth, while Ft. Lauderdale is eighth with a Gini index of 0.534.

On the state level, Florida comes in ninth on the Gini index, but the report uses other indicators to measure state-wide inequality.

"There was only one state where

the different income inequality

measures tell a confused story, as

indicated by a difference in ranking

of at least 10 places. Florida was

ranked ninth by the Gini index

with greater income inequality than the U.S. Gini (0.469 versus 0.467);

it was however ranked twenty-

seventh by the P90/10 index, and

twenty-third by the P95/20 index, with both the latter two indexes

showing lower income inequality than for the United States as

a whole. This suggests that the

extremes of income are not as

prevalent in Florida as in the

other states," says the report.

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