Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

Which cities have the best income equality? Here's the top 10

By Erik Raymond, Deseret News

Published: Thu, March 13 3:15 p.m. MDT

 Looking down and westward at West Jordan, Utah from the Oquirrh Mountains.

Looking down and westward at West Jordan, Utah from the Oquirrh Mountains.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has long classified the widening wealth gap to be one of the most startling and destructive trends in the country.

The Brookings Institute conducted a study and found that inequality exists to a much greater extent in large cities, but it is very hard to compare the reasons for this inequality. However, cities with relatively low levels of income inequality are usually small and have similar economic characteristics.

According to Brookings, Southern and Western small cities have less income inequality, while "large populations, diverse housing types, and generally progressive politics mean that most cities will always have higher shares of the rich and poor than smaller places."

For a clarified view of the issue, NerdWallet crunched the numbers to find the cities with the greatest income equality.

Looking at the top 10 income equal cities (with populations of at least 100,000), NerdWallet "created an income equality ratio of the mean income of the highest-earning 20 percent of households in each city to the mean income of the lowest-earning 20 percent. The lower the ratio, then, the more equal the place.”

According to NerdWallet's metrics, two Utah cities, West Jordan and West Valley, got first and fourth respectively on the list.

You can see the list of the 10 cities with the smallest income inequality gap here.

1. Christopher B
Ogden, UT,
March 13, 2014

The income equality lovers are happier when the whole nation suffers rather than when half suffer and half get rich.

2. worf
Mcallen, TX,
March 13, 2014

Of course we inequality! We're all different.

The resources for success is equal.

3. Way of the Warrior
Arlington, WA,
March 13, 2014

So, according to this study a city full of equally poor residents could be considered a "best" city for income equality?

4. Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT,
March 13, 2014

Soviet Union was a world leader in income equality. Nobody had anything. What an idiotic way to measure success! Why not say - X% of the population have a car, Y% have a computer with Internet access, Z% can afford to eat balanced diet, etc to measure economic well-being?

5. Reader81
March 13, 2014

I think income equality is a misnomer. The real phrase should be income homogeneity. Perhaps one reason that some of these cities are listed is because people higher incomes choose not to live in that location, or those with lower incomes can't afford to.