States with Highest Income Inequality 2019

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With demonstrations like Occupy Wall Street, protesters have brought visibility to the impact increasing income inequality has had on America over the course of the last 50 years. But despite all the attention given to the problem of income inequality, the problem is worsening. The Great Recession of 2008 did not help matters.

According to the most recent American Community Survey data, income inequality has increased in all 50 states from 2010 to 2017. Zippia broke down the American Community Survey data in detail to see geographical trends in the data over the past 7 years of available data. Here’s what they found:

States Ranked by Income Inequality*:

  1. New York
  2. Connecticut
  3. Louisiana
  4. California
  5. Florida
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Georgia
  8. Illinois
  9. Texas
  10. New Jersey
  11. Tennessee
  12. Mississippi
  13. Alabama
  14. New Mexico
  15. Kentucky
  16. North Carolina
  17. Rhode Island
  18. Arkansas
  19. South Carolina
  20. Pennsylvania
  21. Arizona
  22. Virginia
  23. Michigan
  24. Oklahoma
  25. Ohio
  26. Missouri
  27. West Virginia
  28. Oregon
  29. Montana
  30. Colorado
  31. North Dakota
  32. Delaware
  33. Washington
  34. Kansas
  35. Maine
  36. Nevada
  37. Maryland
  38. Indiana
  39. Minnesota
  40. Idaho
  41. Vermont
  42. South Dakota
  43. Wisconsin
  44. Iowa
  45. Nebraska
  46. Hawaii
  47. New Hampshire
  48. Wyoming
  49. Utah
  50. Alaska

As for how the US compares to other countries, it is about as unequal as Haiti, El Salvador, Morocco, Uganda, and Jamaica. South Africa is the the most unequal in the world, while Iceland is the least unequal. The most unequal state, New York, is about as unequal as Brazil, Colombia, Panama, and Guinea-Bissau.

The following states had the greatest change in income inequality from 2010-2017: Montana, Delaware, California, Idaho, Rhode Island, Maine, New Mexico, New Jersey, Indiana, and Michigan.

*Based on the Gini Coefficient from the 2013-2017 American Communicty Survey. You can learn more about the Gini Coefficient here.