New Yorker: Inequality and New York Subway

Income inequality is real, and the gaps loom large.

Click here for a nifty infographic about income inequality on the New York subway, how median household income changes from station to station.

The United States has a problem with income inequality. And it’s particularly bad in New York City—according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, if the borough of Manhattan were a country, the income gap between the richest twenty per cent and the poorest twenty per cent would be on par with countries like Sierra Leone, Namibia, and Lesotho.

Some highlights:

$205,192—The highest median household income of any census tract the subway has a station in (for Chambers Street, Park Place, and World Trade Center, all in Lower Manhattan).

$12,288—The lowest median household income (Sutter Avenue, on the L in Brooklyn).

$191,442—The largest range in median household income on a single subway line (for the 2, which includes Chambers Street/Park Place, in Lower Manhattan, on the high end, and East 180th Street, in the Bronx, on the low end).

$84,837—The smallest range in median household income on a single subway line (for the G, the only non-shuttle subway line that doesn’t pass through Manhattan).

$142,265—The largest gap in median household income between two consecutive subway stations on the same line (between Fulton Street and Chambers Street on the A and the C lines, in Lower Manhattan). –Idea of the Week: Inequality and the New York Subway

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1 comment
  1. Sharon R. said:

    I feel like this would be more meaningful if they also adjusted for housing price. If a basic apartment in the most expensive part costs $6000 and month and a similar unit in a low income area costs, say, $2000 a month, that would mean $48000 lowering of the higher income person’s purchasing power on things other than accomodation. Of course it also works the other way, which is that higher income lets you buy a better neighborhood and better schools, so maybe income differential really is the meaningful way to look at it?

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