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Miami's Staggering Inequality Explained in One Map

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More any other big city in the nation -- with the exception being New York -- Miami is a town of two realities. Ours is a city that's simultaneously inhabited by revelers who preside over clubs with table service and can afford $50,000 to see Tiesto on New Year's Eve -- and those who can't afford a few bucks for a Liberty City bus ticket.

Every city faces its own issues with inequality. For instance, only the very wealthiest can now afford to live in either Manhattan or San Francisco -- but few cities are as geographically bifurcated as Miami.

Miami-Dade County is home to nearly 2.6 million people, and 21 percent of them are considered upper income, while 34 percent of them are lower income. It's pretty clear from this 2012 U.S. Census Bureau map where each segment lives. The darker the shade of orange, which swallows the shoreline, the more money that community has.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, if you live on Miami Beach north of the MacArthur Causeway but south of the JFK Causeway, you're making more than $200,000 per year. You're also rolling in Brickell, where the median income is $135,000.

But if you're anywhere in mainland Miami, that vast swath of ivory you see above, you will definitely not be attending Tiesto's show on New Year's Eve. Here, the per capita income runs anywhere from $33,000 to $12,000.

$12,000! With disparity like that, it's no wonder that among the most populous counties Miami-Dade has the second highest inequality rating in the nation, the U.S. Census Bureau found last year.

You can explore the entire nation's inequality here.

If you know more, send your story tip to author, Terrence McCoy.

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