Sebastian-Vero Beach, Fla.

Cities with the widest gap between rich and poor

The American middle class is shrinking. According to a report released earlier this year, an estimated 51% of the population was in the middle class at the start of the decade, down from 61% 40 years earlier. It also appears that even as the economy recovers, jobs are being added for low-wage positions much faster. Despite economic growth in the United States, income inequality appears to be worsening nationwide.

The gap between the wealthy and the poor varies across the country. Some areas have much more extreme poverty, extreme wealth or both, and very little in between. Using data collected in the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. examined the metropolitan areas with the highest Gini coefficient, a figure used to measure income inequality. A low Gini coefficient closer to zero means relative income equality. A higher Gini coefficient closer to one means a limited middle class and concentrated wealth or poverty. As of 2012, Sebastian and Vero Beach, Fla., had the highest level of income inequality in the country… more

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