From gated communities to liquor stores with bars in the windows, daily life looks a lot different for the richest and poorest Americans. And according to a new study, the gulf continues to widen.
The Urban Institute recently released a national report on income inequality, painting a sobering picture of economic segregation. Among other glaring stats, the D.C. think tank found that white households are six times wealthier than the average black household.
Between 1990 and 2010, households in neighborhoods teeming with high-earning college grads enjoyed an average income boost of $15,300 a year, though some well-off neighborhoods saw spikes of $43,000. Meanwhile, those in low-come, less educated neighborhoods only pulled an extra $350 on average.
Minnesota's lower earners fared better than the national average, with households in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the Twin Cities, Duluth, and St. Cloud gaining an average of roughly $1,600 to $2,500. Richer families in those regions' more privileged neighborhoods made $15,500 to $24,350 more than they did 20 years earlier.
The Urban Institute generated an interactive map showing where people on the extreme ends of the socioeconomic spectrum congregate. The map also shows how those rich/poor hot spots have changed (or not) over the years. Despite its country-club reputation, Minnetonka's share of the top 10 percenters has actually decreased since 1990, while not surprisingly Edina and Eden Prairie have maintained white picket fence supremacy.
In the east metro, Stillwater, Eagan, and Lake Elmo have apparently been putting out the privileged vibes, as more of their neighborhoods now register in that top tier.
Since the first Bush was in office, little has changed for traditionally poor urban areas such as north Minneapolis and St. Paul's Frogtown, which continue to have some of the metro's highest concentrations of the bottom 10 percent. In line with poverty's suburban sprawl, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights, and Shakopee have experienced an uptick in socioeconomic bottom dwellers. Ditto Little Canada and West St. Paul.
Although certain Twin Cities neighborhoods are rapidly gentrifying, the report shows the majority of the most privileged (67 percent) or underprivileged (62 percent) areas across the country have been “locked in” to their top or bottom status since 1990.
That's great for Edina. But not so much for North Siders.
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