Hartford Ranked #35, New Haven #39 in Income Inequality Among US Cities; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Is Nation's Most Disparate Region

A new analysis ranking the cities with the greatest income inequality includes Hartford and New Haven in the top 50.– and the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area is the metro region with the largest income disparity in the nation.

The major cities with the most dramatic income inequality in their population are, ranked in order:  Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami, Jackson (Mississippi), Gainesville (Florida), Tampa, Cincinnati, Athens (Georgia), Providence, Berkeley and Boston.  Seven of the top 11 are cities in the Southern U.S.

Among New England cities, Providence ranked #9, Boston at #11, Cambridge at #12, Hartford at #35, and New Haven at #39.  Among other major cities, New York ranked #13 and Washington, D.C. ranked #15.

Bloomberg ranked 300 U.S. cities with populations of at least 100,000income-inequality-shutterstock_146836310 based on their level of income inequality and identified the 50 with the greatest inequality. The media outlet also ranked the top 20 metropolitan areas with the greatest income disparity.

On that list, Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk ranked as the metro area with the most income inequality in the nation.  Among the 20 regions with the greatest disparity, one-quarter are in Florida – including Naples-Marco Island at #2 and Gainesville at #3.  College-Station-Bryan (Texas) was #5 and New York-Northern New Jersey was #5 on the list of metro areas. 

They methodology for the analysis was use of the “Gini coefficient,” which is calculated by the U.S. Census from household income share by quintiles, used to measure distribution of wealth. It ranges from zero, which reflects absolute equality, to one, complete inequality.

Hartford’s Gini coefficient was 0.5176, New Haven’s was 0.5144.  By comparison, Atlanta’s was 0.5882, and Providence 0.5445.  New Haven’s income inequality improved slightly, by 5.4 percent, since 2008, while Hartford’s disparity grew slightly, by just over 1 percent, according to the data.

The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk region had a Gini coefficient of 0.5459.

It was reported that in New Haven, 26.1 percent of the population was living in poverty; in Hartford the figure was 38 percent.  In Hartford, 54 percent of household income was in the highest quintile, while 2 percent was in the lowest quintile.  In New Haven, 38 percent was in the highest quintile while 2.5 percent placed in the lowest.

In the ranking of the 50 cities with the most income inequality, Hartford was between Lafayette, Louisiana and Cleveland, OH.  New Haven ranked between Charleston, S.C. and Tulsa, OK on the list.

The average score for the United States was 0.4757. In 2013, a person living alone making less than $11,490 was classified as in poverty. The threshold increased by $4,020 for each additional household member, Bloomberg reported.