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Which Cities Have the Biggest Gaps Between Rich and Poor?

The U.S. Census Bureau released a report Wednesday outlining where different U.S. cities fall on the scale of income inequality. This report uses the Gini Index, which we used previously to show how other countries compare to the United States in income inequality.

The Least Equal Cities are:

(metro areas)

1. New York City

2. Miami

3. Los Angeles

4. Houston

5. Memphis

The Most Equal Cities are:

(metro areas)

1. Salt Lake City

2. Virginia Beach

3. Minneapolis

4. Las Vegas*

5. Riverside, Calif.

See a full list of cities after the jump. *Editors Note: A previous version left Las Vegas off the list above.


Even though NMA rips on Washington, D.C. for having the highest median income, the D.C. metro area is fairly low on the scale. It ranks among the most equal 25 percent on the list. Does your city’s rank surprise you?

U.S. Metropolitan Areas Ranked By Income Inequality

  1. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
  2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
  • Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
  • Memphis, TN-MS-AR
  • New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
  • Birmingham-Hoover, AL
  • Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI
  • Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
  • Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
  • Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
  • Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN
  • Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
  • Austin-Round Rock, TX
  • Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
  • San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
  • Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
  • St Louis, MO-IL
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  • Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
  • Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN
  • Indianapolis-Carmel, IN
  • Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA
  • Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Baltimore-Towson, MD
  • Columbus, OH
  • Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
  • Orlando-Kissimmee, FL
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
  • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Raleigh-Cary, NC
  • Rochester, NY
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
  • Kansas City, MO-KS
  • Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, CA
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
  • Las Vegas-Paradise, NV
  • Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
  • Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Elizabeth Shell contributed to this report.

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