Oh, to be wealthy in Dallas.
The wealthiest neighborhoods there on average have six times the income, six times the housing value, 2.4 times the homeownership, and nine times the college completion than the poorest neighborhoods in the area. That wealth difference is staggering. It also makes the Dallas region the most unequal area in the country, according to the Urban Institute.
What's happening in Dallas is common across the country. On the surface, inequality is about your income. But it's also about your neighborhood. Rich people tend to live around other rich people. And as the rich get richer, wealth becomes sectioned off.
That segregation is intensified by discriminatory housing policies that keep the poor—and often people of color—out of more affluent, white neighborhoods.
The Urban Institute measured the average household income, share of college degrees, homeownership rates, and median home value of this country's 570 "commuter zones" (metropolitan and rural areas with shared economies and housing markets).
The bigger the wealth gap between the top 10 percent of neighborhoods (blue in the maps below) in a region and the bottom 10 percent (black in the maps), the more unequal the area. Using the Urban Institute's metrics, these are the 10 most unequal areas in the country. In some areas, the differences between those in blue and black areas goes far beyond wealth.
1) Dallas, Texas
The average household income is $34,000 in the poorest neighborhoods. It's $195,000 in the richest.
2) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
People in the wealthiest neighborhoods are 12 times more likely to have finished college.
3) Baltimore, Maryland
Residents of top-tier neighborhoods are more than twice as likely to be homeowners compared with bottom-tier neighborhoods.
4) Columbus, Ohio
Homes in wealthier neighborhoods have four times the value of homes in poorer neighborhoods.
5) Houston, Texas
The homeownership rate for the wealthiest neighborhoods is 79 percent. It's just 30 percent in poorer neighborhoods.
6) Birmingham, Alabama
Home prices in wealthier neighborhoods are six times the value of those in poorer neighborhoods.
7) Richmond, Virginia
Residents in wealthier neighborhoods are more than 11 times more likely to have finished college than residents in poorer neighborhoods.
8) St. Louis, Missouri
The average value of a home in poorer neighborhoods is $73,000. It's $400,000 in wealthier neighborhoods.
9) Charlotte, North Carolina
The average household income for bottom-tier neighborhoods is $33,000. In top-tier neighborhoods, it's $155,000.
10) Detroit, Michigan
Residents of richer neighborhoods are more than 10 times likelier to have finished college than those in poorer neighborhoods.
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