Speaking of the high cost of living in Manhattan, the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey finds that “the top 5 percent of households earned $864,394, or 88 times as much as the poorest 20 percent” in NYC last year. The median income is up to $52,223 from $52,640, though still lower than the $55,307 from 2008. Non-Hispanic Whites have the highest median income at $75,145 and Hispanics have the lowest with $36,196. About 1.7 million New Yorkers live below the poverty line.
According to The New York Times, the disparity is caused by the resurgence of the financial industry, with hedge funds and investment banks surging in the recovery after dipping low during the worst of the Great Recession.
At least we have a small decline in the poverty level, which was 14.5 percent in 2013, down from 15 percent. Still, those living at or below the poverty line is 45 million. For Hispanics nationwide, the median income has gone up 3.5 percent in the last year.
A disproportionate number of African Americans nationwide live in poverty, however. There are so many in the Black population mired in poverty that getting out is incredibly difficult. And a third of all the poor are children. That increase in the median income for Hispanics has a big impact on the number of children in poverty as four in 10 are of Hispanic origin.
Nationwide, the media income is just under $52,000, about where it was in 2012 and eight percent lower than it was in 2008. The median income for women is $39,000 versus $50,000 for men. So women on average are making 78 percent of what men are.
Long story short, there are various kinds of income inequality in this country. And it’s time we try to tackle all of them.