DC income inequality worst in the nation, income the highest -- $161,348
Jan 25, 2016
Washington, D.C. has the worst ratio of income inequality in the nation, driven by sky-high federal paychecks that give the city the highest annual wage at $72,963, according to a new report on the U.S. economy.
The well-respected Corporation for Enterprise Development revealed Monday that Washington's richest 20 percent make 7.3 times as much as the poorest 20 percent, an embarrassing fact for President Obama and Democratic lawmakers and candidates who often point to other cities to draw attention to income inequality. In a city where many spouses work for Uncle Sam, joint household income for the top 20 percent is a staggering $161,348 -- also No. 1 in the nation -- compared to $22,185 for the bottom 20 percent.
What's more, the group's 2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard also found that unemployment in the District is the nation's highest, another detail ignored when the White House herald's the dropping unemployment rate.
According to the report, whites in the District have it good. Others, not so. "The situation is most dire for households of color. African-American and Latino households in D.C. are significantly more likely to live below the federal poverty line compared to white households. Even more startling, new data show that businesses owned by whites in D.C. are valued almost seven times higher than businesses owned by African-American residents."
And in the city that some use as an educational incubator, reading proficiency ranks at the bottom in the country. "The District's 8th-grade math and reading proficiency rates (19.1 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively) are the worst in the nation," said the report.
The annual report looks at wealth and savings in all states and produces a scorecard for each based on 61 measures. Their website includes a graphic for each state.