- According to the Census, DC now has the highest Gini index in the US and thus the highest level of income inequality nationwide (.532). The standard measure of income inequality is the Gini index, which varies from 0 to 1, 0 indicating perfect equality where there is a proportional distribution of income; 1 indicates perfect inequality where one person has all the income and no one else has any.
- DC also has the most households in the nation making over $200,000 (8.4% of households or 21,194 households).
- According to the Census, in DC at least in 2006, the share of income going to the poorest 20% of the population was by far the lowest in the country (1.9% as opposed to the national 3.4%) and by far the highest for the wealthiest 20% (56.3% as opposed to 49.9%).
- For DC, the Gini index increased from 1979 (.450), to 1989 (.492), to 1999 (.549), which meant more inequality. We see a slight decrease from 1999, but the current Gini index of .532 is still well above its pre-1990 level.
- From the UN data, it seems that this Gini index level is on par with Brazil, Honduras, and Papua New Guinea, countries with the highest levels of inequality in the world.
- The majority of countries in the world have lower levels than DC.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Taxes and Opportunity Hoarding
Just wanted to clarify something: DC has the highest level of income inequality nationwide. DC has levels of income inequality on par with the most unequal nations worldwide, like Brazil and Papua New Guinea.