D.C. Income Inequality Among Nation's Highest: Report

Third greatest wealth disparity among large cities

Friday, Mar 9, 2012  |  Updated 2:48 PM EDT
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The nation's capital is a city of contrasts, according to a new report by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute.

Households in the city's lowest 20 percent (or lowest quintile) of income earners brought in an average $9,100 annually.  That figure is not far off the average for the lowest quintile of earners across the country's 50 largest cities.

But households in the city's top 5 percent earned an average $473,000 a year, the most among the nation's largest cities. 

According to the study, the city's top quintile of earners made 29 times more than the bottom quintile.

That disparity between rich and poor is the 3rd widest among large cities.  Atlanta had the highest income gap, followed by Boston.  The report says D.C.'s poverty rate is at 19.2 percent, compared to 7.1 percent for surrounding counties. 

The large city with the lowest income inequality in the study was Virginia Beach.

The DC Fiscal Policy Institute based its findings on US Census data.  You can read the full report here.

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