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Rich, Poor Living Farther and Farther Apart -- Literally

By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff

Rich Americans and poor Americans are increasingly segregating themselves into separate neighborhoods, as the gap between America's haves and have-nots widens, a Pew study of recent census data reveals.

From 1980 to 2010, the number of high-income households located in affluent neighborhoods doubled to 18%, the Washington Post reports, while the number of low-income households located in poor areas rose from 23% to 28%. Mixed or middle-class neighborhoods are still the most common, but their ranks are diminishing.

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"The country has increasingly sorted itself into areas where people are surrounded by more of their own kind, if you will," a Pew official said. Researchers see rising income inequality as the force driving the trend.

An earlier Stanford study found that over a 40-year span the percentage of families living in middle-class neighborhoods declined from almost two-thirds to less than half.

Another demographer adds that generational factors are at work, because baby boomers largely bought homes in neighborhoods their kids can't afford.



--Written by Kevin Spak of Newser

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