New Orleans ranks second worst in the country for income inequality, according to Bloomberg, which maintains a ranking of the most unequal cities in the country. The report puts inequality in New Orleans roughly on par with that in Zambia, according to statistics kept by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Bloomberg plotted America’s 50 most unequal cities according to their Gini coefficient, which measures the concentration of income, rather than overall income (gross domestic product) or the wealth of the average citizen (median income). In a country with a Gini coefficient of 0, all residents enjoy the same level of income. In a country with a Gini coefficient of 1, a single person holds all the country’s wealth.
New Orleans’ Gini index was .5744.
Only Atlanta — .5882 — had a higher coefficient than New Orleans, according to Bloomberg. Atlanta’s median household income was $46,466, more than $12,000 higher than that of New Orleans. Even as Atlanta had more inequality than New Orleans, the average resident in Atlanta was much better off than the average New Orleanian.
In New Orleans, the bottom 40 percent of the population earns just 7.5 percent of the income, according to Bloomberg.
Inequality is growing nationally, but the speed of growth in New Orleans is faster than that in many other cities. New Orleans’ Gini coefficient rose 5.39 percent since 2008. Only 14 of the 50 cities included on Bloomberg’s sortable list saw inequality grow faster.
The Gini coefficient for the United States as a whole was .4757, according to Bloomberg, which updated its figures in April. According to the CIA, which hasn’t updated its figure for the United States since 2007, when its Gini Coefficient was .45, America ranked 41st for income inequality, between Uruguay and the Philippines.
Before you comment remember that the report measures “income inequality” between the rich and poor NOT the wealth of a city or locality