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Boston among worst in US for income inequality

Boston had the third highest rate of income inequality among the 50 biggest US cities in 2013, up from fourth the year before, according to a report out Tuesday by the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit research organization in Washington D.C.

Household incomes in Boston’s top 5 percent made at least $239,837 in 2013, 15 times the $15,952 made by the highest earners in the bottom 20 percent. The ratio is the same as it was 2012, while slight income growth among poorer households in Miami, formerly the third place city, moved Miami to fourth.

Atlanta has the highest rate of income inequality in the nation, followed by San Francisco.


Income disparity is growing nationwide, with 21 of the 50 biggest cities experiencing larger gaps between the top and bottom wage earners in 2013 than they had in 2007.

Income inequities are greater in large metropolitan areas. In the 50 biggest cities, the incomes of people at the top of were at least 11.6 times as much as those at the bottom: nationwide, the average ratio was 9.3.

Katie Johnston can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ktkjohnston.