The income gap between New York's wealthiest and poorest citizens took center stage this last election, with now-mayor Bill de Blasio's "tale of two cities" mantra. Now, a newly released report from the City University of New York shows how far apart those two cities really are. The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies, part of the CUNY Graduate Center, looked at how income inequality shifted between 1990 and 2010. The short answer: the poor, adjusting for inflation, got poorer and the rich got much, much richer.
Image via Wikimedia Commons 740 Park Avenue (shown here under construction in 2008), the home of New York's richest resident, David Koch.
"No shit," you respond, justifiably. But even the CUNY researchers were surprised by what they call the "extraordinary, and growing, concentration of wealth" in the hands of a very few. In 1990, the top one percent of New Yorkers had a median income of $452,415. In 2010, their median income was a cushy $716,625. In the same time period, the poorest ten percent of New Yorkers barely saw their incomes rise at all. The wealth concentration in white households also became "the most extreme in the City," they add, with 42 percent of white households earning more than $100,000 a year.More »