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Highlights from Beveridge’s Talk on Inequality at the New York Law School

MONDAY, APR 20, 2015

Social Explorer's Andrew Beveridge spoke at the Symposium on Inequality, sponsored by the Impact Center for Public Interest Law and the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School.

Highlights from his talk "Selected Data on Changing Inequality in NYC and the US" are below.  

This first chart examines median household incomes over time for the US, New York City and Manhattan.  Incomes increased across the nation in the 1990s and 2000s, but those numbers have declined in recent years back to 1980s levels.  A similar pattern happened in New York City, but Manhattan experienced consistent gains, bouyed by the nation's highest earners.  (More on them in later slides.)



This layered map shows the rising median incomes in Manhattan for 1990 and today.

The next graph compares the incomes of different groups of American households.  The lowest quintile includes the bottom 20 percent of households, while the highest quintile includes the top 20 percent of households (those with higher income).  The graph also highlights what the top five percent of earners have made over the decades, which has increased the most rapidly compared to the rest.


The following chart compares income for New York City's five boroughs and the U.S., again highlighting Manhattan's wealth.


An important part of the Manhattan story is Wall Street.  The next chart details Wall Street profits and bonuses over the decades.  Even when Wall Street was losing money during the financial crisis, bonus payments remained high. 


The following chart illustrates how the nation's wealthiest have been pulling away from everyone else in recent years.  


Income Inequality in New York:

  • New York County is the most unequal county in the US (population over 100,000)
  • Ratio of Top Quintile to Bottom Quintile 42.59 $9,681 to $420,015
  • New York City—Number 9 based upon Ratio, Number 7 based upon Gini. Trails Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Washington DC, Cincinnati, Boston and New Orleans
  • Ratio of Top Quintile to Bottom Quintile 26.28 $9,188 to $241,445
  • New York Combined Statistical Area (Large Metro)—Most Unequal in the United States
  • New York Metropolitan Area—Most Unequal in the US, except for Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk (which is also in the area)

Find out more about income inequality and other topics with Social Explorer and Census Explorer.

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