The States With the Biggest Income Inequality

State of Inequality

In case you haven’t noticed, income inequality has become a hot topic as of late. The Occupy Wall Street protests have brought national attention to the issue, and the movement has repeatedly hammered on the point that the top 1% of income earners own a disproportionate share of the country’s wealth. And Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office showed that the gulf is widening: Since 1979, the top 1% has seen its income nearly triple while the rest of the country has lagged far behind. A few parts of the country are driving that trend. On Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released a comprehensive look at income inequality. The state-by-state rankings were compiled using a combination of statistical measures. The first is the Gini coefficient, which measures inequality on a scale of 0 to 1 (with 0 indicating that all households have the exact same income and 1 indicating that one household earns all the income). Also included is P90/10 Index, the ratio of income at the 90th percentile to income at the 10th percentile; and the P95/20 index, the ratio of income at the 95th percentile to income at the 20th percentile. The following eight states all performed worse than the national averages across all three indices. Photo Credit: Tony the Misfit