The City with the Worst Income Inequality in Illinois | Illinois

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The United States has some of the highest levels of income and wealth inequality in the world. U.S. Federal Reserve data shows that the wealthiest 10% of Americans control $93.8 trillion, more than double the $40.3 trillion in the hands of the remaining 90% of Americans.

The income and wealth divide only appears to be growing wider. A January 2020 report published by the Pew Research Center found that over the last four decades, income growth for the top 5% of families by earnings has far outpaced income growth for families in the lower income strata.

In a nation as large as the U.S., varied levels of income inequality may be expected, and in a few areas in the country, extreme wealth and extreme poverty exist side by side. In nearly every state, there is at least one city where income inequality is far more pronounced than it is on average nationwide.

Based on the Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality expressed on a 0 to 1 scale where 0 represents perfect equality and 1 represents the highest level of inequality, Carbondale has the worst inequality in Illinois.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Gini coefficient in Carbondale stands at 0.599, the highest of any city in Illinois. For context, the statewide Gini score stands at 0.482.

In Carbondale, the top 20% of households by earnings account for 62.5% of all income in the area, while the bottom 20% of households account for just 1.1% of earnings. Across the state, the disparity is less pronounced, with the highest earning 20% of households accounting for 51.4% of income versus 3.0% for the bottom 20% of earners.

All data in this story are five-year estimates from the U.S. Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. For comparison purposes, all places covered by the census with populations above 25,000 — including towns, boroughs, municipalities, and unincorporated communities — were considered cities.

 

City Gini score Share of income earned by wealthiest 20% of households (%) Share of income earned by poorest 20% of households (%)
Alabama: Auburn 0.553 56.1 1.0
Alaska: Anchorage 0.430 47.2 4.1
Arizona: Catalina Foothills 0.507 54.1 2.9
Arkansas: Little Rock 0.533 56.9 2.7
California: Beverly Hills 0.586 62.5 1.6
Colorado: Boulder 0.533 55.6 1.9
Connecticut: New Haven 0.520 54.7 2.4
Delaware: Wilmington 0.544 56.7 1.9
Florida: Miami Beach 0.606 64.4 2.0
Georgia: Atlanta 0.581 61.1 1.8
Hawaii: Honolulu 0.473 50.7 3.0
Idaho: Rexburg 0.494 52.7 3.1
Illinois: Carbondale 0.599 62.5 1.1
Indiana: West Lafayette 0.578 59.7 1.1
Iowa: Iowa City 0.511 53.0 1.9
Kansas: Leawood 0.504 54.9 3.1
Kentucky: Richmond 0.504 53.0 2.8
Louisiana: Monroe 0.591 62.2 1.7
Maine: Bangor 0.509 54.1 2.9
Maryland: Baltimore 0.515 54.0 2.3
Massachusetts: Boston 0.539 55.6 1.7
Michigan: East Lansing 0.561 57.3 1.3
Minnesota: Edina 0.537 57.0 2.4
Mississippi: Oxford 0.554 57.7 1.5
Missouri: University City 0.578 61.2 1.8
Montana: Missoula 0.487 51.9 3.1
Nebraska: Omaha 0.472 50.8 3.3
Nevada: Winchester 0.533 56.7 2.9
New Hampshire: Concord 0.449 48.5 3.5
New Jersey: Princeton 0.563 58.8 1.8
New Mexico: Las Cruces 0.486 51.3 2.7
New York: Ithaca 0.583 60.1 1.0
North Carolina: Chapel Hill 0.549 56.7 1.8
North Dakota: Grand Forks 0.489 51.3 2.7
Ohio: Cincinnati 0.541 56.8 2.2
Oklahoma: Stillwater 0.561 57.7 1.5
Oregon: Corvallis 0.504 52.6 2.2
Pennsylvania: State College 0.569 59.0 0.9
Rhode Island: Providence 0.541 56.5 2.2
South Carolina: Columbia 0.548 57.6 2.0
South Dakota: Rapid City 0.473 51.3 3.6
Tennessee: Johnson City 0.541 57.2 2.4
Texas: Texarkana 0.550 57.7 2.1
Utah: Salt Lake City 0.501 53.5 2.8
Vermont: Burlington 0.496 52.1 2.7
Virginia: Blacksburg 0.588 59.5 0.5
Washington: Pullman 0.555 57.8 1.5
West Virginia: Charleston 0.551 58.3 2.3
Wisconsin: La Crosse 0.481 51.9 3.6
Wyoming: Laramie 0.462 49.5 3.3

 



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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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