NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- In case you haven't noticed, income inequality has become a hot topic.The Occupy Wall Street protests have brought national attention to the issue, and the movement has repeatedly hammered on the point that the top 1% of income earners own a disproportionate share of the country's wealth. On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office showed the gulf is widening: Since 1979, the top 1% has seen its income nearly triple while the rest of the country has lagged far behind.
|Occupy Wall Street has highlighted broad U.S. income inequality, but eight states stand our for their rich/poor gap.|
Gini Index: 0.469
P90/10 Index: 11.4
P95/20 Index: 8.715
If you want to know why California is so unequal, look no further than its largest city. According to the census, the Los Angeles area has the third-highest income inequality of the largest American metro areas, boasting a Gini coefficient of 0.484. For reference, that's above the national coefficient of 0.467, and much higher than European countries, many of which are below 0.3. Seventh-most unequal state: Alabama
Gini Index: 0.471
P90/10 Index: 11.871
P95/20 Index: 9.006
Consider this: An Alabama resident whose income places him or her in the 90th percentile makes nearly 12 times as much money as someone in the 10th percentile. And things are just as bad in the capital city of Birmingham: The metropolitan area has the eighth-worst income inequality in the nation.