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5 States Where Income Inequality Increased the Most

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Here’s a look at five U.S. states where a key measure income inequality suggests that income inequality increased rapidly between 2007 and 2017.

The U.S. Census Bureau tries to summarize income inequality by computing “Gini index” figures for states, and for other geographic areas it includes in its surveys,.

A Gini index, or Gini coefficient, is tool for measuring how different the numbers in a collection of numbers are from each other. In a state where every household had the same income, the Gini index would be 0%. In a state where one household had all of the income, the Gini index would be 100%.

We recently posted an article about the five states that had the highest Gini index figures in 2017 — the latest year for which figures are available.

(Related: 5 States Where the Haves Have the Most)

This time, we took another approach: We looked at how much Gini index figures had changed for each state between 2007 and 2017, then ranked states by the size of their Gini index change.

The rate of change ranged from a decrease of 0.4 percentage points, in Wyoming, up to an increase of more than 4 percentage points, in one state. The median rate of increase was 1.5 percentage points.

States with growing income inequality might be good target markets for products and services that appeal to high-income or low-income prospects more than to middle-income prospects.

To see the five states with the greatest growth in their Gini index figures between 2007 and 2017, see the data cards in the slideshow above.


To create this slideshow, we used Gini index of income inequality data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 and 2017 American Community Survey results databases.

The datasets, and data filtering tools, are available here.

— Read The 5 States Where Death Is Most Unfairon ThinkAdvisor.

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