D.C. Income Inequality One of Nation’s Highest

D.C.’s gap between rich and poor residents is one of the largest in the nation, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data. Among cities with populations of 100,000 or more people, D.C. comes in third for highest income inequality, a rate measuring how evenly income is distributed among society.

Income inequality is an important measure because it shows how a society—whether that be a neighborhood, city or nation—is economically structured. It also helps explain, for example, why the District has one of the most vibrant economies in the country yet still has a very high unemployment rate. There are some District residents who are doing very well, but there are some who are doing very poorly.

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