Connecticut’s 4th Congressional district, centered in Fairfield Country, has been ranked as the district with the 4th highest level income inequity in the nation. A year ago, the 4th C.D. was ranked fifth. A ranking of congressional districts of by their level of income inequality, conducted by Bloomberg, uses the Gini coefficient, a formula that measures the distribution of income across a population. The closer a Gini number is to 1, the greater the level of inequality; the closer to zero, the closer to perfect equality. The average score for the United States was 0.4804.
All of Connecticut’s Congressional Districts, with the exception of the Fourth District, did better than the national average in the degree of income inequality.
Bloomberg Businessweek has previously pointed out that the U.S. congressional districts with the most inequality share certain traits: “they contain a small, enormously wealthy elite surrounded by impoverished neighbors.” Most of the districts with the greatest disparity are located in or near major urban metropolitan areas.
The greatest income inequality in the most recent analysis indicated that the Congressional Districts with the most income inequality are Pennsylvania’s 2nd District, New York’s 10th District, and Florida’s 27th District. Following Connecticut’s 4th District on the list are Illinois; 7th District, and three additional Congressional Districts in New York – the 12th, 7th and 16th. Rounding out the 10 C.D.’s with the most income inequality are Ohio’s 11th District and Georgia’s 5th District.
In Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District, which includes Bridgeport, the state’s largest city, as well as the communities often referred to as the “Gold Coast,” 59.3 percent of the population has household income in the highest quintile, while 6.7 percent of households have income below the poverty level.
Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District (.4810) ranked number 88 on the list of Congressional Districts with the most income inequality among residents. The state’s 3rd Congressional District (.4792) ranked at number 95, and the 1st C.D. (.4631) at number 175. Much later in the rankings, Connecticut’s 2nd District (.4261) came in at number 387, indicating it is the C.D. in Connecticut with the least income inequality.
The Gini coefficient, which is calculated by the U.S. Census from household income share by quintiles, was used to measure distribution of wealth. It ranges from zero, which reflects absolute equality, to one, complete inequality. The data was updated in November 2015, using 2014 data. In 2014, a person living alone making less than $12,071 was classified as in poverty. The threshold increases for each additional household member and varies by the number of adults and children in each household.